Alexandria Mayor James P. Moran Jr. found himself in the middle of a pre-dawn melee in his neighborhood during the weekend in which a man was wounded with a machete.

Shortly after 5 a.m Sunday, Moran, who was reading in the living room of his home off West Mount Ida Avenue, heard the sound of car windows being smashed. He said he ran outside, wearing pajamas, to investigate, saw that a neighbor's car had been vandalized and encountered a young man yelling obscenities.

The man "was obviously drunk or on drugs . . . out his mind," Moran said, and had mistaken his neighbor for someone who had "stolen a girlfriend." The man "had the wrong house," according to the mayor, who said his neighbor did not know the man.

The neighbor came outside and scuffled with the man, Moran said. The young man broke free and the mayor and his neighbor chased and caught up with him, after which another scuffle erupted between his neighbor and the man, Moran said.

When police, who had been called by the mayor's son, arrived, Moran said, he learned that the young man had been cut with a machete. The man, believed to be in his early twenties, was taken to a hospital for treatment of cuts to the left back and right hand.

Police confirmed the incident, but offered few details because no charges had been brought. Authorities would not name the people involved in the incident other than to say "Moran was about 30 feet" from the scuffle. A police source said it was unclear whether the two men involved in the scuffle knew each other.

According to Moran, a Democrat trying to unseat Republican Rep. Stan Parris in Virginia's 8th Congressional District, the only type of weapons he advocates are "fists and the mind."