Christopher Bjerkness, Duluth's rubber ball slasher, arrested after six-year hiatus


Bjerkness is a criminal in name only. The judicial system hasn't known what to do with the serial rubber exercise ball slasher who suffers from mental illness.

Christopher Bjerkness can't lick his appetite for destruction. More specifically, he has a thing for slashing rubber exercise balls.

The 39-year-old Cloquet man's run-ins with the law began in 1997 with a felony damage to property conviction. Since then, according to, he's had no less than two dozen brushes with law enforcement for various kinds of trespasses.

Many of them have had to do with up rubber exercise balls.  

The first sign that Bjerkness wasn't just some wanton lawbreaker surfaced more than a decade ago. In 2005 he was convicted of first-degree criminal damage to property after making his way into the Sports and Health Center at the University of Minnesota Duluth on different occasions and slashing inflatable exercise balls.

The following year he slashed more balls at the Polinsky Medical Rehabilitation Center. Four years later he broke into a Duluth clinic and slashed more rubber balls. 

Bjerkness has repeatedly said in the past he doesn't believe he's a threat to anyone. Although he's told officials he slashes rubber balls to satisfy a sexual urge, Bjerkness maintains his fetish for exercise balls has nothing to do with the people who work or exercise at gyms. Over the course of time it's been confirmed he suffers from fetal alcohol syndrome, bipolar disorder, and cerebral palsy.

The last time Bjerkness was in the public eye was five years ago. In May 2011 he'd been caught inside Duluth's Chester Creek Academy. He'd been apprehended before he did any damage to any balls. Bjerkness pled guilty the following year to a burglary charge. His punishment was four years of probation in lieu of 23 months in prison.  

While details remain scarce, it looks like Bjerkness is back at it. 

According to Douglas County (WI) Sheriff's Office, Bjerkness was arrested during the early morning hours of May 24. The charges: burglary and forced entry into a residence and destruction of property. 


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