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Man charged with assaulting and threatening to kill two individuals

A man awaiting disposition on charges of sexual abuse involving a minor received new charges for a 2020 altercation on Monday in Mower County District Court.

Jerome Anthony Watkins, 30

Jerome Anthony Watkins, 30, of Roseville, formerly of Austin, has been charged with two counts of felony threats of violence – reckless disregard, two counts of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault – fear of bodily harm or death, and one count each of misdemeanor fifth-degree assault – inflict or attempt bodily harm, misdemeanor disorderly conduct – brawling or fighting, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct – offensive/abusive/boisterous/noisy/obscene.

According to the court complaint, Austin police officers responded to a report of an altercation at about 10 p.m. on May 14, 2020, at a fast food restaurant in the 1400 block of Fourth Street Northwest. They spoke to a juvenile male, who said he had been in a verbal altercation with Watkins, who was a co-worker. The juvenile said he contacted the manager, after which he said Watkins confronted him, threatened to “beat his (expletive)” and shoved him to the floor.

The victim’s father came to the restaurant and confronted Watkins. They began to argue, then punched each other after Watkins threw the first punch.

It was reported that when the victim’s father and Watkins were separated, Watkins told them he would return “to beat on or shoot them.” He then asked, “Do you know who my brother is?” and said, “I have a gun in my car and I will kill you.” Police were told Watkins then left the restaurant and opened the trunk of his car. The victim’s father said he thought Watkins was going to shoot him, but Watkins left the premises.

Two other employees  witnessed the altercation and provided statements that were consistent with the accounts given by the victims. One witness believed that Watkins was going to his car to retrieve a firearm.

A review of Watkins’ criminal history shows prior convictions for domestic assault, violating a domestic abuse no contact order, criminal damage to property and terroristic threats. He is currently awaiting disposition on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – position of authority, first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship, first-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship – multiple acts, second-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – position of authority, and second-degree criminal sexual conduct – penetration – victim 13-15 – significant relationship, all felonies.

Watkins will appear in court again on April 8.