The Free Press, Mankato, MN

June 19, 2013

Assault charges filed in N. Mankato stabbing

By Dan Nienaber
dnienaber@mankatofreepress.com

---- — NORTH MANKATO — Assault charges have been filed against a North Mankato teen who is accused of stabbing his mother's boyfriend Monday.

Mackenzie Ray Tiegs, 18, appeared in Nicollet County District Court Wednesday for felony charges of second- and third-degree assault. He is accused of stabbing Daniel Reyes Jr. during a confrontation at the Tieges' house, which is directly behind the North Mankato Police Department.

After being stabbed, Reyes walked across the street to the police station for help just after 2 p.m. He was treated for cuts to his head and knee at the Mankato hospital. Tiegs' mother, Rena Tiegs, said Wednesday that Reyes was released from the hospital Monday evening. (The police department's lobby was closed temporarily so blood could be removed from the floor.)

The altercation started a short time before the stabbing when Mackenzie Tiegs returned home at about 1:45 p.m. and found Reyes there. Tiegs told investigators he had left the house earlier in the day after Reyes "went crazy on him" for accusing him of being under the influence of alcohol, according to the criminal complaint filed Wednesday.

After returning home, Tiegs went directly to his room to avoid contact with Reyes, the complaint said. Investigators reported Tiegs said he came out of his room and confronted Reyes after hearing the family's dog yelp in pain. A fight started after Reyes punched Tiegs in the nose, the complaint said.

Reyes eventually stopped fighting and told Tiegs he was done. At that point Tiegs went into the kitchen to get a knife. He allegedly told investigators he planned to only threaten Reyes with the knife but ended up swinging the knife at him and cutting his head. Tiegs told investigators he didn't know how Reyes was cut on the leg, the complaint said.

After Reyes walked to the police department to report the stabbing, he gave officers permission to go into the house to look for Tiegs. Reyes told police he was living there with Tiegs and his mother.

Rena Tiegs said she found out about the stabbing immediately after it happened when her son called her. She said she told him to lock the doors because she was concerned Reyes would retaliate. Mackenzie Tiegs was arrested without incident after police officers walked over to the house, Chief Chris Boyer said Monday.

Reyes was not supposed to be living in the house, Rena Tiegs said Wednesday as she prepared to post a $10,000 bond for her son's release from the Nicollet County Jail. Reyes had just returned from a trip and was staying there temporarily, but her landlord didn't want him living there because his name isn't on the lease, she said.

The two men had fought about Reyes' treatment of the dog in the past and it wasn't uncommon for her son to protect the dog, Rena Tiegs said. Mackenzie Tiegs is about to graduate from high school and was planning to attend a school in Wisconsin to learn how to operate heavy machinery.

"My kid is not a violent person," she said. "If you meet the kid, he's happy-go-lucky."