By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN A strange chain of events Christmas Eve led to two residential break-ins in Delano, a man accidently shooting himself in the hand, and two men being charged with multiple felony-level offenses.
Daniil Sergeyevich Grishchuk, 21, of Prior Lake, is facing felony-level charges of aid and abet theft, conspiracy to commit burglary, and aiding an offender to avoid arrest.
Timothy Paul Afanasiev, 21, of Eagan, was also charged late last week with felony-level charges of theft, two counts of second-degree burglary, and conspiracy to commit burglary. A warrant has been issued for Afanasiev’s arrest, according to the Wright County Attorney’s Office.
Wright County authorities had their first run-in with Grishchuk Dec. 24 at about 3:12 p.m. in the parking lot of the Delano Movie Theatre, according to a formal complaint.
A caller had notified Wright County Communications of a suspicious incident that took place. The caller had been approached by two men with “thick Russian accents” who were looking for gas for their vehicle, a black Mercedes, according to the complaint. A deputy responded to the area and identified Grishchuk, who indicated he had been at a party, gotten lost, and needed gas.
Several hours later, just before 6:30 p.m., a Franklin Township homeowner notified Wright County Communications of a burglary at their 72nd Street residence. They noted they were gone for several hours, and when they returned, they found their house had been forcibly entered.
Shoe prints were found in the snow, and the inside of the residence was in disarray as though it had been searched for items of value, according to the complaint. Numerous items were determined to be missing, including electronics, jewelry, cash, credit cards, a checkbook, and a loaded H&R .22-caliber revolver.
After leaving the residence, a Wright County deputy observed a large red bag lying in the west ditch of 72nd Street, according to the complaint. Shoe prints found near the bag matched prints found at the residence that had been broken into.
Inside the bag, deputies found bottles of alcohol, a laptop computer, credit cards, and a checkbook, according to the complaint. The credit cards and checkbook contained the name of a Delano man who resides on Buffalo Street, about two blocks from the residence on 72nd Street that had been broken into.
The deputy went to the Buffalo Street address and found that residence had also been forcibly entered and that similar shoe prints were also present, according to the complaint.
Like the 72nd Street residence, this house was also in disarray. In speaking with neighbors, authorities learned the homeowner was out of town.
Because of the initial suspicious person complaint that afternoon, authorities responded to the Delano Movie Theatre parking lot and located similar shoe prints to the ones found at both residences and the ditch.
A further check of the ditch where the red bag was found yielded several additional bags found behind a line of pine trees, according to the complaint. Deputies also located an H&R revolver stuck in the snow, along with a large amount of blood spatter in the area.
Deputies found the revolver to be loaded, but that one round had been discharged, according to the complaint. While examining the contents of the additional bags, deputies found two items of clothing soaked in blood.
Wright County Communications checked with local hospitals to see if anyone had been admitted with a gunshot wound, according to the complaint. Dispatchers learned the Eagan Police Department was called to Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) on a report of a gunshot wound to the hand.
According to the HCMC report, Afanasiev had accidently shot himself in the hand while cleaning his firearm at his parent’s residence in Eagan. An Eagan police officer went to Afanasiev’s parent’s house and found the gunshot incident did not occur there.
Afanasiev left HCMC before Eagan authorities could speak with him, according to the complaint.
The next morning, at about 7:30 a.m., the sheriff’s office and Delano Fire Department were called to a medical situation in the 4100 block of Highway 12, according to the complaint. Grishchuk was found in the area suffering from exposure and was transported to HCMC.
A deputy back-tracked Grishchuk’s footprints from the area and located his vehicle parked on 72nd Street.
After being treated at HCMC, Grishchuk was placed under arrest, according to the complaint.
The sheriff’s office learned Afanasiev had been arrested for a burglary in Plymouth Dec. 26. An examination of his shoes showed the same print that was found at the scene of the two burglaries in the Delano area.
Authorities also showed a photo lineup to the man who called in the initial suspicious person report, and the man correctly picked out Grishchuk and Afanasiev as the two men who approached him in the theatre parking lot.
In a statement to authorities, Grishchuk said he and Afanasiev were in Delano Dec. 24. Grishchuk said he dropped Afanasiev off in the area of the theatre and was aware Afanasiev was going to break into a couple houses, according to the complaint.
Grishchuk told authorities he parked in the theatre parking lot and was waiting for Afanasiev to call him when he was approached by the deputy. Grishchuk said he panicked and left the area.
Afanasiev later called Grishchuk and told him he had accidently shot himself with a revolver taken in a burglary. Grishchuk met Afanasiev near the storage units behind the Delano Theatre and took him to HCMC, according to the complaint. While on the way, Afanasiev told Grishchuk that evidence tying him to the scene was left in the area.
At Afanasiev’s request, Grishchuk returned to the area and attempted to locate the revolver and blood-stained clothing. While searching for the items, Grishchuk said he became disoriented and ran out of gas.
If found guilty, Grishchuk is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine for aid and abet theft, five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine for conspiracy to commit burglary, and three years imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine for aiding an offender. As of Thursday, Grishchuk remained in custody at the Wright County Jail.
If found guilty, Afanasiev is facing a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and/or a $100,000 fine for theft, 10 years imprisonment and/or a $20,000 fine for each burglary charge, and five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine for conspiracy to commit burglary.