Man from early August gun threat incident pleads not guilty to charges

Published 8:46 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Jose Juan Alvarez-Bentzin Jr., 25, who was arrested on Aug. 11 in an incident where he allegedly threatened multiple people with a gun, has entered pleas in the case.

During an initial appearance Monday in Mower County District Court, Alvarez-Bentzin pleaded not guilty to six charges related to the incident including three felony counts of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, committing a crime while wearing/possessing a bullet resistant vest, firearms-serial number-receive/possession was altered and gross misdemeanor person ineligible to receive ship or transport weapons/ammo.

According to the court complaint, Alvarez-Bentzin, Jr. was arrested after Austin Police Department officers and Mower County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the 700 block of Sixth Avenue NW at around 11:09 a.m. on Aug. 11 on a report of a subject threatening others with a firearm while wearing a ballistic vest.  When law enforcement arrived, an officer first on the scene located Alvarez-Bentzin, Jr. standing by the garage of the home while wearing the vest.

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An adult male and one of the victims of the threat told police that a female victim, the ex-partner of the man, lived at the residence with a daughter and that he went to the house with a third victim, his adult son, after receiving a call from the daughter that something was happening. 

Once at the residence, Alvarez-Bentzin, Jr. allegedly walked from the garage area and pulled out a small black pistol and pointed it at the male’s son and then at him. The female victim came out of the house and Alvarez-Bentzin, Jr. also pointed the gun at her as well.  

At the jail, Alvarez-Bentzin, Jr. was questioned by an APD detective and claimed it was the first male that threatened him with the handgun and that he “just lost it.” At that point, he said, he was able to get the gun away from the male. However, when asked if the male’s DNA would be on the gun, Alvarez-Bentzin, Jr. responded that it probably wouldn’t.

Alvarez-Bentzin has requested a speedy trial and so its next appearance will be pre-trial hearing on Oct. 2.