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Men found in Cottage Grove charged in axe assault and robbery

Two men apprehended in Cottage Grove last week face charges in connection with an axe assault and robbery.

Cottage Grove police on Dec. 21 located two men in a truck that had been reported stolen following a home invasion in Inver Grove Heights.

According to a Dakota County criminal complaint filed Monday, the men -- Jacob R. Anhalt, 22, and Randy A. Knight, 31, both of Inver Grove Heights -- allegedly were among three men who made their way into a home and stole tools, valuables and a truck. A man who was at home during the robbery said he was assaulted with a battle axe during the Dec. 21 incident.

The criminal complaint says the victim had made arrangements for Anhalt to go to his home. Once Anhalt arrived and was let in, two unknown men "came running through the back door into the living room." The suspects were armed with a sword and a "large battle style axe," according to the complaint.

The victim said he was pushed the floor and hit on the back of his head with the axe, causing him to bleed. The axe-wielding suspect demanded valuables, saying "I don't want to leave with a body part," the complaint says. Anhalt fled during the robbery. The victim said he was then strapped to a foosball table with Duct tape, but freed himself an hour later and called police.

Inver Grove Heights police alerted area authorities of the stolen vehicle and the suspects. Later, Cottage Grove police found Anhalt and Knight in a truck at a gas station on East Point Douglas Road. An unsheathed knife was located in the vehicle.

Anhalt told police he set up the robbery and Knight and another man carried it out, but he did not know they would hurt the victim or would have weapons. Knight told police he did not know anything about the robbery and that he had just arrived in Cottage Grove to help fix the truck.

The men are charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree aggravated robbery and theft of a motor vehicle.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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