Man facing charges from chainsaw attack

ROGERS CITY – A 57-year-old Millersburg man is accused of threatening a hunter with a running chainsaw, and faces a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon.

Michigan State Police responded to the call on Nov. 16, Sgt. Craig Johnson said. According to the report filed by the MSP trooper who responded, the dispute began when a hunter was parked on what the Millersburg man deemed to be his private property in Ocqueoc Township. He asked the man to move his truck in what Johnson described as a “cordial conversation.”

“It was a very nice conversation at first, but when (the hunter) parked on basically the opposite side of the road and continued to hunt in the area, that’s when the tide turned,” Johnson said, citing the report.

The hunter and suspect had a confrontation when the suspect returned with a chainsaw and allegedly lunged at the man with the running power tool, Johnson said. He also pursued the hunter in his vehicle after the hunter left.

“Fortunately, no one was injured,” Johnson said. “The gentleman that was the victim exercised good judgement and did not do anything drastic.”

The suspect was identified as Douglas Merchant by 89th District Court Administrator Kristy Hardies. He was arrested after the incident, and arraigned on a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon Monday. He’ll be back in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 17.

Presque Isle County Prosecutor Richard Steiger confirmed Merchant is accused of the assault. He said he had signed an affidavit of probable cause for the case at the time, but couldn’t comment further. Both he and Johnson declined to release the name of the alleged victim.

A message left with Merchant’s attorney was not returned by press time.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at