Robbery attempted in home

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 30, 2002

A 22-year-old Austin man is being held in the Mower County Jail after he and another man attempted to rob a house here.

According to police reports, a 25-year-old man living at a home in the 700 block of Second Avenue NW was woken shortly after 4 a.m., Thursday, by the sound of someone opening the unlocked screen door on his back porch. The man grabbed a handgun in his bedroom and went into the kitchen where he says he saw two Hispanic men rooting through the drawers. The resident then pointed his gun at the men and told them to get down on the floor. One of the suspects obliged while the other ran away.

Police reports state the resident made the suspect who stayed crawl on his stomach into the living room so the resident could call the police. At one point, the police reports say the suspect tried to run from the house, but the resident tackled him and held him in a head lock until police arrived.

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The suspect was then taken to jail where he awaits formal charges. The other man has not yet been found.

Capt. Curt Rude of the Austin Police Department said the break-in "seems to be random. At this time, there is no indication that they are acquainted."

Fire damages home

An Austin woman's home was damaged after a fire broke out Wednesday evening.

According to police reports, a man who is staying at 705 First Ave. NW called police at approximately 8:30 p.m. to report he saw a red glow and black smoke coming from the home at 707 First Ave. NW.

When the Austin Fire Department came, the home's owner, a 44-year-old woman, was contacted at her job at Quality Pork Processors. When the woman arrived, she told firefighters she had a dog and parakeet inside the home. The dog was found uninjured in the basement, but firefighters could not locate the parakeet.

Fire Chief Dan Wilson said he believed the fire started in the southwest corner of the home, but the investigation was continuing. No estimation of the damage was available, though Rude said he thought it was "substantial."

Inmate attempts suicide

A 35-year-old man being held in the Mower County Jail attempted suicide Thursday morning.

According to police reports, the man was found hanging in his cell from his pant leg. His face was purple and officers estimated he had been hanging for two or three minutes.

He was given oxygen and taken to the Austin Medical Center where he is listed in fair condition.

Amanda L. Rohde can be reached at 434-2214 or by e-mail at