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Brainerd man allegedly swings machete at victims

A 55-year-old Brainerd man faces six criminal charges after allegedly swinging a machete at people. Edward Alexander Cox was charged Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with six felonies--two counts of stalking, two counts of s...

Edward Alexander Cox
Edward Alexander Cox

A 55-year-old Brainerd man faces six criminal charges after allegedly swinging a machete at people.

Edward Alexander Cox was charged Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with six felonies-two counts of stalking, two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon that was not a firearm and two counts of domestic assault. He also faces a gross misdemeanor of obstructing the legal process.

According to the complaint filed against Cox, the Brainerd Police Department was called at 3:08 p.m. Saturday to an assault at an apartment in Brainerd. The reporting party indicated the victims of the assault said the male tenant, identified as Cox, was swinging a machete at other people.

One of the officers noticed Cox, coming up behind another officer, with his hands in his jacket pockets. Cox appeared to be moving slowly as if he were sneaking up, so two other officers moved in on him. As Cox was being escorted away from the door towards the backyard, he began to pull away from officers and was screaming, stiffening his body, kicking, flailing his arms and spitting at officers. Officers secured Cox in the back seat of the squad car, when he began kicking the window. Officers sprayed mace at him and secured his legs with restraints.

After Cox was in custody, an officer spoke with one of the victims-identified as D.A.-who reported his girlfriend, M.B., a person identified as D.S.M. and Cox were at the home at the time of the incident. D.A. reported Cox was angry and yelling at D.S.M. During this argument, Cox came out of the back bedroom holding a machete and was swinging it above his head. At one point, he was able to corner D.S.M. in the apartment bathroom, the complaint stated. D.A. stated he and his girlfriend said they were going to leave, at which point Cox became apologetic and stated they did not need to leave. Cox then went into the bedroom again.

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Later, Cox came back out of the bedroom swinging the machete again and shouting at D.A. and M.B. The defendant swung the machete towards D.A.'s head while he was seated on the couch, the complaint stated. D.A. ducked out of the way of the machete before it made contact with him. D.A. was wearing a baseball hat backwards, which D.A. believed was hit by the machete when Cox swung it at his head. The officer noted a cut in the hat, which D.A. reported came from the machete. D.A. stated he was fearful of Cox and believed that if he had not ducked out of the way, the machete would have hit him.

D.A. stated Cox then raised the machete up towards M.B. and D.A. told him not to threaten his girlfriend. Cox continued to shout with the machete in the air in a threatening way but D.A. and his girlfriend were able to exit the apartment, the complaint stated. M.B. provided information substantially similar to that provided by D.A.

An officer met briefly with D.S.M., who was visibly upset. D.S.M. stated Cox was highly intoxicated and "off his meds." D.S.M. stated when Cox woke up, he began drinking vodka and continued to drink vodka throughout the day. Cox's agitation continued to rise for no reason other than the fact he was apparently off his psychotic medications and drinking vodka, the complaint stated.

At some point, Cox became upset with D.S.M. and wanted D.A. and his girlfriend to leave. Cox then retrieved a large machete which he keeps under his side of the bed and began pointing it at D.S.M. within 2-3 feet. D.S.M. described Cox as holding the machete down by his waist and pointing it at her stomach and making a lunging movement towards her stomach, but missing her to her right, which she stated appeared to possibly be on purpose.

D.S.M. stated Cox lunged at her, and she believed he was trying to scare her. D.S.M. said Cox then grabbed the machete and raised it up over his right shoulder and was yelling at her and threatening her with the machete in his right hand.

D.S.M. showed the officer the bedroom, where he observed several gouges that appeared to come from an object with a heavy, sharp edge such as a machete. D.S.M. stated that while in his rage in the room, Cox just began flailing and chopping at things with the machete trying to destroy things. Ultimately the machete used by the defendant was located on the floor of the vehicle owned by Cox and D.S.M.

Cox has numerous prior qualified domestic violence-related offenses, the complaint stated. He was convicted in 2009 for misdemeanor fifth-degree assault in Hennepin County District Court and was convicted in 2015 after violating an order for protection.

Judge Earl Maus set unconditional bail at $200,000 or $100,000 with conditions, which include he cannot enter the victim's home, cannot leave the state, cannot enter any liquor establishments and cannot possess alcohol, controlled substances and firearms.

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The judge scheduled his next court hearing for Feb. 5.

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