Man accused of threatening another with gun

Published 8:02 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

An Austin man is in custody for allegedly threatening someone with a gun while driving.

Benjamin Lerum, 20

Benjamin Lerum, 20, is in Mower County Jail awaiting a possible charge of second-degree assault.

According to Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger, officers responded to a call at 10:24 p.m. Saturday at the Kwik Trip on West Oakland Avenue.

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The victim, a 20 year-old male, said he was driving near Oakland Avenue East and Oakland Place when a blue Nissan almost struck his vehicle. The victim said he exited the vehicle and asked if there was a problem and the Nissan drove away.

The victim told police he then followed the Nissan and pulled along side of it. The driver then allegedly used a hand gesture and pulled out a black handgun. The victim got scared and left the area.

The victim then went to Kwik Trip with a friend. While there, the Nissan pulled up and Lerum exited the vehicle. The victim called 911 and told Lerum the police were on their way.

Police searched the Nissan and found sufficient evidence to justify arresting Lerum, but did not find the handgun.

Lerum is on a seven-year probation for a trio of cases in which he was accused of assaulting several people with a wooden samurai sword and was involved in other incidents from 2015 and 2016.

In two other cases, he was sentenced to a stayed 18-month prison term for fifth-degree assault for a Sept. 22, 2016, incident, and he was sentenced to a stayed 13-month prison term for first-degree criminal damage to property for a Dec. 16, 2015, incident. In both, he’ll serve five years of probation as long as he follows 20-plus conditions in each case. Both sentences are concurrent to the seven-year probation sentence, meaning they’ll be served at the same time.