Austin man sentenced to prison for assaulting man with bat outside Albert Lea hotel

Published 10:27 am Thursday, August 24, 2023

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An Austin man was sentenced Thursday in Freeborn County District Court to 45 months in prison for reportedly assaulting another man with a baseball bat in the parking lot of an Albert Lea hotel in July 2022.

The sentence, by District Court Judge Christy Hormann, came after Terrance Gustaf Book, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon in the case.

Book will serve the time concurrently with sentences from two other cases from Austin, one involving an aggravated robbery and the second involving a standoff in March. In that case, he was sentenced to 60 months in prison for felony possession of a firearm after being convicted of a crime of violence.

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As part of his plea agreement in the Freeborn County case, a separate case tied to a traffic stop from 2021 was also dismissed.

Court documents stated police were called to the hotel, at 2306 E. Main St., on July 24, 2022, on a report of stalking involving Book. When an officer arrived, his attention was drawn to a vehicle in the parking lot that had several windows smashed. A group of people were gathered around a man lying on the ground on his back near the side entrance to the hotel. The man was taken to the emergency room.

When an officer spoke with the man at the hospital, the man said he was at the hotel when a male got out of his vehicle and hit him with a bat. He stated the assailant also had a knife when he started to beat him.

The victim said he started to run, and the suspect, who was screaming at him, hit his car and then left. He described the suspect as having a knife approximately 12 inches in length in his left hand and the wooden bat in his right hand. He was later identified in a photo lineup.

The court complaint alleges Book hit the victim with the bat three times on his left leg. The injured man at one point limped to the grass area where police ultimately found him.

The victim told police he did not know who Book was but had seen him at the hotel previously on Friday. He said when he previously saw him, he was screaming and looking for a female. He said he thought the man’s wife had left him and that he thought the victim had her.

The victim stated he did not have anything to do with the woman and did not know her.