HASTINGS, Minn. (WCCO) — An Eagan man is accused of stalking and harassing his neighbors, as well as vandalizing their property, over the course of years.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Dakota County, neighbors of 47-year-old Michael John Gunderson say they reported incidents of vandalism starting in 2007. Eagan Police detectives arrested Gunderson on Friday afternoon at his home off Birchpond Road.
Investigators said the neighbors reported that year that someone started their garden hose and left it running in their window well. They also reported that year that someone put water into their furnace’s air intake, damaging the equipment.
The next year, the victims reported their telephone and cable lines had been cut, their tree had been cut in half, their hummingbird feeder had been tossed into the back woods, and the grounding connecter on their air conditioning unit had been removed.
“It’s been very damaging, costing them a lot of money to fix some of these problems,” said Danielle Anselment, spokeswoman with the Eagan Police Department.
A neighbor also installed a surveillance camera in the summer of 2008 to catch the vandal in the act. That person reported to police that Gunderson had trained a laser beam on the camera to disable it. The charges state officers found that a laser had indeed been set up on Gunderson’s deck.
The criminal complaint goes on to detail incidents of harassment in 2010. The victims claimed Gunderson made obscene gestures to them while they were in their yard, yelling expletives.
This year, police determined that Gunderson had been distributing at least eight letters throughout the neighborhood claiming that one of his two neighbors was an “ultra pervert.” Police said Gunderson signed the letters “Terra Glenn Guy.”
Eagan Police Chief James McDonald was also a victim.
“It went to my boss, and I’m certainly not happy about it,” he said about a letter sent to the Eagan City Administrator in August of this year. “To go home, tell your family about things that happened at work today is kind of concerning.”
The letter outlines lies about department corruption. It talked specifically about an Eagan detective organizing sex parties involving prostitutes. It also alleged that McDonald is involved in all misconduct in the department.
“As a public official, I get I can be criticized for the work that I do,” said Chief McDonald. “Where I draw the line is when someone lies about my character.”
Police were able to trace the letters sent to the City Administrator and neighbors back to Gunderson based on the stamp meter numbers.
Investigators say, in another letter, he claimed to have been run out of the room during an Eagan Citizen’s Crime Prevention Association meeting by its president, who is identified as one of the two victims of harassment in the criminal complaint.
When confronted by investigators, Gunderson called one of his two neighbors a “f—ing b—-” and said the other was a “pervert.” When police questioned him about whether he could’ve explored other avenues regarding his concerns, he agreed.
Gunderson has been charged with one felony count of engaging in a pattern of stalking conduct, and also one gross misdemeanor charge of stalking.
The criminal complaint also says that Eagan Police ran a records check on Gunderson and found that he had previously been charged with stalking and harassment in Rogers, Minn. back in 2005, accusing someone of being a child molester. The complaint says the case was dismissed so long as certain compliance conditions were met.