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Chris Bieri, Grand Forks Herald , Published January 03 2012

Two charged in Christmas Eve stabbing

DEVILS LAKE, N.D. - Two men were hospitalized Christmas Eve following a fight in Devils Lake that included a stabbing with a knife and a nail, shots from a BB gun and whipping with a chain.

The fight began with “exchanged words” through text messages between Anna Berger, 18, of Devils Lake, and Joseph Tirpak, 26, of Cando, according to an affidavit.

Berger later told police that she and her boyfriend, Dalton Longie of Devils Lake, were upset and intended to fight Tirpak.

It ended with Tirpak and Longie in the hospital.

Tirpak and Berger have been charged with aggravated assault.

Longie is expected to be charged with conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, according to police Detective Sue Schwab.

All charges are Class C felonies, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

After exchanging text messages, the affidavit said, Berger and Tirpak agreed to meet early that evening at Roosevelt Park in Devils Lake. They argued, and Berger put her cigarette out on Tirpak’s right cheek.

Berger told police Tirpak responded physically and Longie, who was hiding behind the skate park, came out to confront him. Tirpak started shooting at Longie with a BB gun, hitting him in the face and chest.

She said Tirpak dropped the gun and the two men got into a physical fight with Tirpak stabbing Longie, puncturing his lung.

While the two men scuffled, Berger attacked Tirpak. She said she hit him in the head with the BB gun multiple times, stabbed him in the back with a 4-inch nail and used a chain to whip him on the back.

Longie later went to the Emergency Room at Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake before being transferred to Altru Health Systems in Grand Forks. He has since been released.

Tirpak, who, according to the affidavit, admitted to shooting Longie with the BB gun, was later treated at Towner County Medical Center in Cando.

Armed with a search warrant, authorities searched Tirpak’s home in Towner County and found a knife with a 3- to 4-inch blade and a container with copper BBs. They also found a hookah, a marijuana grinder, a one-hit pipe, Zig-Zag rolling papers, an Altoid container with marijuana seeds, a Ziplock bag of marijuana, a number of small baggies and two digital scales.

Tirpak is also now facing charges of possession of drugs with intent to deliver, a Class B felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor.

Class B felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.