Man charged with assault
An Austin man faces a felony assault charge for allegedly holding a box cutter to the throat of another man Thursday night and threatening him.
Troy Lester Benner, 36, was charged Monday in Mower County court with one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. He was also charged with making terroristic threats, a felony.
Benner is in custody on $100,000 bail, or $50,000 with court conditions, including no alcohol use and no contact with the alleged victim. He is scheduled for arraignment April 22.
According to a criminal complaint, the alleged victim, a 69-year-old man living in the 800 block of Fifth Avenue, reported the incident to police Friday morning. When officers arrived, the man was holding a shotgun and said he was scared of Benner. Police were able to calm the man down and get him to set the gun down before they talked to him, the complaint states.
The alleged victim said that on Thursday night, he heard a knock on the door and went to answer it. When he did, a man grabbed him and put a knife to his throat, the complaint states. The alleged victim said the man demanded to know if he was a police informant and said that he had “10 seconds to live.”
The man also made threats regarding a person who the alleged victim believed to be a 25-year-old male who had recently brought him a knife he found, the complaint states. That knife apparently belonged to the attacker but had not been returned.
The alleged victim was able to calm the attacker down, and the man eventually left the area with an unidentified female. The alleged victim also said the man had identified himself as “Troy” during the attack.
A responding officer had issued an unrelated assault citation to Benner three blocks away from the 69-year-old man’s home the night before, so he showed the man a police photo of Benner. The alleged victim immediately identified him as the attacker, the complaint states.
Officers next spoke with a 29-year-old female, who confirmed that she had went to pick Benner up the night before and that she saw him with an older guy, later identified as the alleged victim. Authorities also spoke with the 25-year-old male, who confirmed the story about the recovered knife, the complaint states.
Officers met with Benner, who was already in jail on the other alleged assault and reportedly still drunk from the night before. He said he had no recollection of going to the alleged victim’s house.