Man trying to eat snow arrested for burglary

Published 10:44 am Wednesday, March 9, 2016

A Faribault man faces burglary charges for an incident at a Dexter farm after he was found in a ditch trying to eat snow.



Garrett Wade Grassel, 38, was charged Tuesday with one count of third-degree burglary, one count of possession of tools to commit a burglary — both felonies — and one count of misdemeanor theft. A woman was also arrested.

Mower County deputies responded to a burglary in progress at a farm located at the intersection of County Road 2 and 640th Avenue in Dexter Township at about noon on March 4.

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The caller said he was following a suspect north on 640th Avenue and another suspect was on foot. Upon arrival, deputies were directed to a windmill driveway and saw footprints in the snow, which led across a small creek, through some brush and into a plowed field, according to the police report.

Officers found Grassel lying in the ditch. He was covered in mud and appeared to be under the influence of a controlled substance. Grassel said he was looking for his friend. A knife and flashlight were removed from his pockets.

Grassel said he was lying in the ditch because he was thirsty and wanted to eat snow. He also said he had been assaulted by the caller, was trying to run away and the caller questioned him about where he was coming from and tried to swing a bolt cutter at him. He said he wanted the caller arrested for “attempted assault,” according to the complaint.

Grassel said his car broke down and he had been kicked out of the car by his girlfriend after a fight.

Deputies brought him to the scene of the burglary to meet with the caller and other deputies. The caller said he did not assault Grassel and no bolt cutters were found in his truck.

The footprints appeared to match Grassel’s boots. Another set of footprints appeared to have been made by cowboy boots. The footprints led from the road to two storage containers, a house and a pole shed, all which had open doors. Officers found a door to a machine shed had been pried open, with a blue container that held several electric motors, along with three electric box motors, placed outside recently with no snow on them. Officers followed boot prints from the shed to a ditch near 640th Avenue where they found a metal tub with more electric motors.

Grassel was transported to Mower County Jail, along with Melissa Gail Daily, 36, who drove the vehicle and whose boot prints matched the second set at the scene.

An Austin Police Officer, who had been in the area of the burglary earlier that day, caught Grassel on the squad car video camera walking from the property to a parked car on the side of the road.

Deputies learned a red 1995 Saturn SL2 was circling the area and found Daily about half a mile from the scene, then saw her driving north.

Daily told deputies she was lost and trying to find Brownsdale. She denied being with anyone else, but she appeared to be under the influence of drugs, according to the report. Daily changed to her story when she was told of Grassel’s statement, saying she “collected rocks” and that’s why she stopped in the area.

Deputies searched the Saturn and found four flashlights, four pry bars, a Minnesota map and a scrap metal receipt in Grassel’s name. The receipt was dated March 4 for eight pounds of electric motors.

Court records did not say if Daily would face charges. Grassel’s next appearance is scheduled for March 17.