Deputy Curtis A. Felt was a young man from Alexandria who served as a peace officer in the Douglas County Sheriffs Office. On Thursday afternoon, June 29, 1978, Douglas County Deputy Curtis (Curt) Felt was shot and killed. Curt was called in off road duty to transport a prisoner to the Fergus Falls jail. (Douglas County was in the process of building a new jail).
It all began when James Kroupa, 32 at the time was picked up by Alexandria police a year earlier and charged with “driving under the influence”. Found guilty of the charge, he was ordered to pay a fine. When he failed to do so, Kroupa was ordered to appear in court on Thursday, June 29.
In court, Kroupa was sentenced to 30 days in jail for refusing to pay his fine. The prisoner left the courtroom with four guns on him, two 9mm automatic pistols tucked in his belt, a .25 automatic in his boot and a .357 magnum in his coat. All guns were loaded. When Curt arrived to transport him, he started shooting before Curt realized Kroupa was armed. Kroupa then fled from the building. Curt was able to walk a few feet to the office of secretary Delores Schultz who helped him lay down as he was asking her to get help.
Alexandria Police Officer Steven Caye spotted the get away vehicle and the pursuit began. Kroupa shot at least five rounds of 9mm bullets at the police car. Police Officer Lamont Mounsdon joined the chase that ended along a dead end road. Kroupa stopped his pickup and ducked behind a tree. He continued to shoot. On the porch of a home nearby, were a mother and her daughter, so to protect them, Officer Mounsdon had to shoot Kroupa.
Deputy Felt age 23, died 3 ½ hours later in surgery at the Douglas County hospital. The man who shot and killed Deputy Felt died three days later at the University of Minnesota Hospitals in Minneapolis.
It was learned that Kroupa was a “loner”. In his pickup were ammunition clips and a pipe bomb (a 10 inch lead pipe loaded with explosives). They found in his trailer home more weapons and tear gas canisters.
Curt was born and raised in Alexandria. He was active in football, hockey, band, and an honor student in school. Following high school graduation, he attended the Alexandria Technical School, Law Enforcement program and BCA school graduating in 1975. He was active in his church and Boy Scouts.
For a short time, Curt worked for Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office and the rest of his career with Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Curt’s funeral was attended by over 400 Law Enforcement Officers from Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Iowa. Also in attendance were hundreds of family, friends and relatives.
The Felt family was invited by Governor Rudy Perpich for dinner and presented with a plaque.
At the time of his death, Curt and Donna had only been married six months and his twin brothers were only 7 years old. They admired their older brother so much they followed in his footsteps. Steve is an Otter Tail County Deputy Sheriff and Mike is a Carver County Deputy Sheriff. Parents Herman and Darlene served on the LEMA board honorably for many years assisting other families who have been through the same nightmare they experienced.
The park located north of Alexandria on County Rd 42 across form the Alexandria golf course was dedicated to the memory of Deputy Felt. On Memorial Day in 1999, the park was officially renamed Deputy Sheriff Curtis A Felt Memorial Park.
Members of the Douglas County Deputy Sheriff’s Federation volunteer their time and efforts to enhance the park annually.