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Dispute over iguana leads to stabbing

A 49-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested Sunday afternoon after a stabbing in Alexandria.

It was triggered over a dispute involving an iguana, according to the criminal complaint.

Alexandria police officers were called to a residence at 1102 Hawthorne Street at 2:50 p.m. A caller stated that unwanted guests had arrived and were attempting to take back their property from a prior rental agreement.

The property included a fish tank with a pet iguana in it.

While officers were on their way to the scene, the situation escalated and a fight broke out.

When officers arrived, they discovered that Wade Burnside, 19, of Alexandria had been stabbed in the chest with a 12-inch knife while trying to retrieve the iguana. He was accompanied by two of his male friends.

Burnside was rushed to the Douglas County Hospital and later airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center for his stab wounds.

The suspect, John Leslie Anderson, 49, was also taken to the Douglas County Hospital for a laceration to his finger. He was treated and then arrested. On Monday, Anderson was charged in Douglas County District Court with one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault.

First-degree assault results in great bodily harm while second-degree assault involves a dangerous weapon, in this case, a knife.

According to police, Anderson was a guest of a 33-year-old woman who lived at the residence and was present during the assault.

Anderson reportedly told police that he picked up the knife with the intention of scaring the other men into leaving the fish tank alone. He said he never meant to hurt anyone.

Police said that witnesses identified Anderson as the person who stabbed Burnside. Both men had not previously known each other, according to authorities.

As of Tuesday morning, Burnside remained at the Hennepin County Medical Center and is listed in satisfactory condition.

No other injuries were reported.

The case remains under investigation by the Alexandria Police Department and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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