ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A Cold Spring man is charged with assaulting a neighbor with a handgun last weekend.

The Cold Spring-Richmond Police Department was called to an apartment complex in the 500 block of 7th Avenue North in Cold Spring at around 1:00 a.m. Sunday.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Stearns County District Court, 49-year-old Michael McNeal and the victim were having a bonfire in the community fire pit when an argument broke out.

According to the charges, McNeal told police that he had locked himself inside his apartment and his neighbor was beating on the door. Records allege McNeal told police he feared that the neighbor would break in and kill him so he fired a gunshot through the door.

Officers met with the victim who was bleeding from a head wound and allegedly told officers not to worry about him because the real danger was behind them, referring to McNeal's apartment unit.

According to the complaint, police saw blood inside McNeal's apartment door, but no signs of forced entry and no bullet hole in the door. However, a welcome mat outside the door had bullet damage and a shell casing was found in the laundry room across the hallway.

One of two children who were witnesses told police that McNeal was drunk and upset with her dad because McNeal thought he had called child protective services on him. The girl said they heard loud arguing and then saw McNeal pointing a gun at the victim. When the girl called her aunt, they heard a loud bang.

Police determined that the gun fired into the ground when McNeal pistol-whipped the victim in the head and a struggle ensued.

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Records show police were able to collect a photo of McNeal pointing the gun at the victim from the girl who shot a photo with her tablet.

A search of McNeal's apartment allegedly turned up a .45-caliber handgun, an assault rifle with no serial number, and several clips of ammunition.

McNeal is charged with one count of 2nd-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. He's due in court on June 3rd.





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