Police seek Eagle River shooter in drug deal gone wrong

Casey Grove

Anchorage police are seeking help from the public in arresting a man suspected of shooting another man, the bullet grazing the top of the victim's head, in a pot deal gone wrong last month in Eagle River.

Officers are on the lookout for Daniel "Fat Dan" Rosendahl, 26, according to a police statement Wednesday. Rosendahl is wanted on charges of robbery, assault and weapons misconduct in the April 24 incident.

It was about 8:30 p.m. when witnesses called 911 to report the shooting outside an Eagle River fitness center, police said. The shooter and victim left in separate vehicles, one described only as a yellow car and the other a Toyota 4Runner, witnesses told police.

"Blood and a cell phone were found at the scene, but police didn't have a victim until he was contacted at his residence approximately two hours later ...," police spokeswoman Dani Myren said in the statement.

According to a criminal complaint, a woman driving the Toyota had called police dispatchers after the shooting and said she was with the victim, Forest Begich-Slade, and that he was uninjured. When officers met Begich-Slade at his home, he had a "graze-type wound to the top of his head," the charges say.

According to the charges, here is the story Begich-Slade told police:

He was trying to buy a quarter-ounce of marijuana and had given a man he knew as "Fat Dan" $80 at the Homestead Lounge, according to the charges. In a later interview with police, Begich-Slade revealed the original deal was to buy a quarter-pound of pot for $1,100, of which Begich-Slade had already paid $550. The $80 Begich-Slade gave Fat Dan was to finish paying for two ounces, half of the quarter-pound he had first wanted.

Something went wrong with a digital scale Fat Dan used to weigh the marijuana in the lounge's bathroom. When Begich-Slade asked about it, Fat Dan snatched up the pot and his things. Begich-Slade said he wanted his money back. Fat Dan pulled out a gun.

Despite Rosendahl punching him in the face several times, Begich-Slade followed his would-be dealer to the Alaska Club parking lot. As they struggled, the gun went off, and a round skimmed the top of Begich-Slade's head.

Throughout the investigation, Begich-Slade told police several times he did not want to pursue charges in the case. He only knew that Fat Dan's last name started with an R, but he knew the name of the man's mother. When officers checked her known associates in a database, they came up with Rosendahl's name, and Begich-Slade picked him out of a photo lineup.

Police described Rosendahl as heavyset, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall, with short dark hair and green eyes. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police at 786-8900. Anonymous tips can be delivered to Crime Stoppers at 561-STOP or www.anchoragecrimestoppers.com.

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.