Dousman man charged in machete attack - 01

Daniel Vasquez

DOUSMAN 鈥 A Dousman man wearing a "Michael Myers" mask and armed with a machete allegedly slashed a bar patron while trying to rob the place.

Daniel Vasquez, 53, was charged Thursday with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, attempted armed robbery, and aggravated battery. If convicted of attempted first degree intentional homicide, Vasquez faces a prison term of up to 60 years. Additionally, for the attempted armed robbery, he may face up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000, and for the aggravated battery charge, he may face up to 15 years in prison and/or a fine up to $50,000.

His next court date is June 25, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 26 at 10:15 a.m. He is being held on a $1 million cash bail.

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Details from complaint

According to a criminal complaint, around 2 a.m. on May 30, Vasquez allegedly entered the Dousman House Bar wearing a Halloween "Michael Myers" mask and a holding a machete. He demanded money from the bartender and repeatedly slashed one of the two patrons of the bar with the weapon.

A police detective en route to the scene located a minivan matching the description given to dispatch by the bartender speeding along the ditch line of northbound Dousman Road. The minivan eventually left the road, struck an electrical pole and smashed into a tree, where police were able to arrest Vasquez. A Michael Myers mask and machete were in and next to the vehicle, according to the criminal complaint.

Prior to the attack, the bartender and the patron who was injured, identified by family as Jon Knickelbein, both interacted with a man in the bar who was allegedly acting inappropriately towards the bartender.

She said he was asking her to have sex with him for money, and could not pay for his drinks, two shots and a Budweiser.

Police also located Budweiser cans and bottles in the minivan. Shortly after the man left, the attacker entered the bar and began demanding money.

The bartender believed him to be the same man, and both she and Knickelbein thought it was a prank.

Even after being stuck on the shoulder, Knickelbein said he thought he was hit very hard with a plastic machete, even saying, 鈥淭hat was really aggressive.鈥 His memory was less clear after this strike, although he remembers trying to get ice for his hand, which was also struck, and that he was 鈥渟quirting blood all over the place.鈥

Knickelbein told police he recalls being on the floor defending himself with a barstool and hearing the attacker strike the cash register and yell, 鈥淛ust give me the money,鈥 according to the complaint.

Knickelbein managed to walk across the street to the Western Lakes Fire Department despite severe bleeding.

He was transferred to a hospital, where he received eight staples for a head laceration, and emergency surgery for his shoulder and wrist. The criminal complaint noted that his bleeding was so severe a tourniquet had to remain on until surgery.

The cut on his wrist broke a bone and severed tendons in his hand; the strike on his shoulder went through his skin, muscle and tendons and partially fractured his left scapular spine.

The minivan Vasquez was driving was registered to a man who lived nearby. The man told police Vasquez was dating his daughter and they both lived at the residence. The man's daughter said Vasquez kept a machete under the dresser in their bedroom, and she saw it when she went to bed the night of May 29 around 10 or 10:30 p.m. It was gone when police asked her to check for it.

According to the criminal complaint, the man's daughter said Vasquez has an 鈥渆xplosive temper鈥 and became mad when she and her father did not give him money, and he left the residence the evening of May 29. After going to bed, she saw Vasquez come home briefly to change clothing; she said she knew Vasquez had 鈥渁n old man鈥 mask but didn鈥檛 know where it was.

Vasquez was convicted of three misdemeanor offenses in the last five years: domestic violence-related battery, a second offense OWI, and disorderly conduct use of a dangerous weapon, which classify him as a repeater.

Vasquez has a hearing in the matter scheduled for June 25.