by NATHANIEL NELSON
Following a nearly 17-hour-long dispute between a tenant and his landlord involved late rent, a thrown ax, and heating bills, a man was arrested for allegedly breaking into his landlord’s residence and faces multiple charges.
Thomas Everett Stein, 25, of Minnesota City, was charged with first- and second-degree burglary after he reportedly broke into his landlord’s residence and assaulted the man. He also faces charges of fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct, misuse of 911, and fourth-degree property damage.
The calls began at 10:59 a.m. on December 1, when the landlord of a residence on the 50 block of Winona Road called dispatch and reported that Stein had allegedly pushed him down the stairs when confronted about late rent. Stein was cited with fifth-degree assault.
At 1 p.m., another call was made by the landlord, reporting that Stein had opened up all the windows in his apartment and turned up the furnace, which he reportedly later said he did because the landlord was paying for heat. Shortly after that, at 1:32 p.m., police allege Stein falsely reported a fire in the apartment. He reportedly told officers that he was just looking for advice on his rights as a renter.
Stein later called 911 to report that his landlord was an intruder, and called again to accuse the landlord of sexual harassment over an alleged text message sent to the tenant’s girlfriend. The transcript of the five-minute call was reportedly mostly Stein swearing at the dispatcher. He was told that a deputy would not be responding.
Later that night, the landlord called dispatch again to report that Stein had once again opened all the windows and turned up the heat. When the deputy arrived, Stein had left, and the landlord entered Stein’s apartment to close the windows and turn down the furnace.
At 2:33 a.m. on Sunday, December 2, Stein called 911 to report that his landlord had broken into his apartment, and reportedly claimed that the landlord had threatened him with a gun. The deputy arrived to find Stein and a woman banging on the windows of the landlord’s residence. In trying to get back into his apartment, Stein allegedly kicked in the locked door after yelling at the deputy.
In a conversation with the deputy, the landlord reportedly denied having a gun or threatening Stein, and during the conversation, the deputy heard banging at the rear of the residence. According to the report, the deputy observed a vacuum that had been thrown from Stein’s apartment and an ax that had been thrown through a carport into a decorative piece of wood.
Stein claimed he slipped and fell and that he needed an ambulance, and then reportedly said he just wanted to go inside.
Shortly after the ax incident, Stein called 911 again to complain that the landlord had turned off the water. The landlord explained that he has discovered water leaking into the basement from a spigot he believed that Stein had turned on in the night.
At 3:52 a.m., Stein reported that his landlord had thrown acid in his eyes. Deputies discovered him and a woman on the landlord’s porch gagging, choking and wheezing. They reportedly identified the smell as Mace.
The landlord reportedly told deputies that he had been sleeping when he woke to Stein and the woman hitting a window with a metal object, and yelling for him to turn the water back on.
The landlord reported that Stein then entered his apartment, holding a small aerosol can, allegedly grabbed him, damaging his glasses, and then spit on him. The landlord then through water at Stein, who stumbled back out of the apartment in surprise, according to the report. The landlord then slammed the door and locked the deadbolt.
Officers could not determine how Stein had been pepper sprayed, and he was placed under arrest.