A 23-year-old man fatally stabbed a bar patron in the midst of a melee outside the Minneapolis tavern but contends that the victim ran into the weapon -- a pair of scissors, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Chrishaun R. McDonald was charged with second-degree murder in Hennepin County District Court in the death early Sunday of Dean Schmitz, 47, of Richfield. McDonald was being held in lieu of $500,000 bail.

According to the complaint:

Schmitz and others stepped out of the Schooner Tavern at 29th Street and 27th Avenue S. for a smoke.

A group walking on the street encountered the bar patrons and exchanged words.

The conflict turned physical, and a woman from the bar threw or pushed a glass with liquor into McDonald's face.

Schmitz started pulling people off the woman, a witness told police. At one point, Schmitz stepped backward, held his hand to his shirt and said, "You stabbed me."

"Yes, I did," the witness heard McDonald respond.

The witness saw McDonald throw a pair of scissors into a nearby parking lot. McDonald then went to Hennepin County Medical Center for treatment.

He later told police that the confrontation started after Schmitz made some remarks, which police have declined to characterize, and after the woman hit him in the face with a glass.

McDonald added that when the fight broke up, Schmitz ran after him. McDonald said he took a pair of scissors out of his bag hoping to scare Schmitz. Instead, McDonald contended, Schmitz ran into them.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482