Albert Lea man sentenced to prison for threats with knife

Published 5:44 am Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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An Albert Lea man was sentenced to two years and three months in prison Monday after he reportedly threatened people with a knife in January.

Damian Javier Velazquez, 21, pleaded guilty in April to two counts of second-degree assault with a knife, causing fear of bodily harm, and  one count of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, specifically psilocybin mushrooms, from a separate case.

In the case involving the knife, Velazquez initially faced three counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, one count of first-degree burglary and one count of fleeing a peace officer by a means other than a motor vehicle. The other charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

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Court documents state officers were called to an Albert Lea residence Jan. 26 after receiving a report that the ex-boyfriend of a woman had broken into a residence and was threatening people with a knife.

The woman and two others told police they were at the apartment too see if Velazquez’s belongings were still there. Velazquez appeared, and after grabbing a knife from the kitchen counter, he reportedly threatened to cut the individuals.

One of the people told Velazquez she was going to call 911, and Velazquez then left.

When police arrived, they found a window well where the screen had been removed from the window. The ex-girlfriend’s doorframe was also broken, and other items from her dresser were thrown into the trash.

Police attempted to arrest Velazquez at another house where he was staying, before he ran on foot. He was ultimately found in an egress window of a nearby church.

Velazquez will receive credit for 157 days already served. He will serve his sentence at the state prison in St. Cloud.

Velazquez’s lawyer had asked for a dispositional departure from the mandatory minimum sentence because of his client’s age, lack of other convictions, amenability to probation and his remorse for his actions.