Felon pleads not guilty to firearm possession

Published 10:22 am Friday, June 3, 2016

A man who was found with a firearm after a fight had ensued with another man pleaded not guilty Thursday in Mower County court.

Michael James Polk, 43, of Austin faces one count of being felony violent felon in possession of a firearm.

At about 5:53 p.m. on May 10, Austin police officers were dispatched to the 200 block of Third Avenue Southeast on the report of a fight.

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One of the subjects was identified as Polk and was in possession of a handgun, according to court records.

The gun was later determined to be a BB pistol, which was found lying in the street near the curb. When officers approached Polk, he pulled a black pistol from his right pants pocket. He complied with the order to drop the gun.

He had a swollen left eye and also smelled of alcohol. He said he’d been in a fight with another man, who was not located by police. Polk was at his house on the 400 block of Second Street Southeast when the other man arrived and was being disrespectful.

The men started to fight and Polk got his BB pistol to defend himself, but denied he shot at the other man. Police later learned Polk was a felon and had an arrest warrant for Dakota County.

Polk told police he used the name Erick Devon Reed and the age 42 as an alias.

After reviewing a photograph from Dakota County, police determined it was not Polk, but fingerprints later matched an FBI number, which matched Polk.

He has a felony fifth-degree drug conviction in 2004 from Ramsey County.

His next court appearance is schedule for Oct. 27 for a pre-trial and Nov. 7 for a jury trial.