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BREAKING NEWS

Iowa man faces assault charge

By Staff | Oct 13, 2008

An assault outside a Blue Earth bar is among a list of calls that have kept local police on their toes the past several months.

Joseph Raymond Litzkow was arrested Oct. 4 after another man’s hand was allegedly cut when he tried to take a knife away from him in the parking lot behind Parrott Bay bar.

Police Chief Dean Vereide says the department’s officers are called “quite often” to the bar, more than to other establishments in the city.

“We do have some con-cern with the number of fights and assaults we are seeing from that bar,” says Vereide. “It’s a problem.”

The police chief says he hasn’t discussed the matter with city officials.

Since January, police incident reports show authorities have been called to Parrott Bay 30 times; Double Play, eight; and American Legion, three.

“They weren’t all disturbance calls, but they involved more than doing a bar check,” says Vereide.

Court records show that since December 2007, four incidents have resulted in charges being filed that require the county attorney prosecute the cases.

Most gross misdemeanors or felony crimes occurring within the city are handled by the county prosecutor.

In his first court hearing on Monday, Litzkow appeared on charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct for being engaged in brawling or fighting.

The 32-year-old Litzkow of Lakota, Iowa, has been held in Faribault County Jail following his arrest early Saturday morning.

Judge Douglas Richards set bail at $14,000 without any conditions, or $10,000 with a $2,000 cash bail if Litzkow has no contact with the victim, abstain from alcohol and be excluded from going to Parrott Bay.

In a complaint filed in court, police officer Todd Purvis says he noticed a group of people gathered in the parking lot behind the Parrott Bay while on routine patrol at 2:30 a.m.

A witness interviewed told authorities he thought Litzkow and another man had a disagreement earlier that night and they were going to fight.

Litzkow told others in the parking lot he had a bat and a knife, says the complaint.

A person interviewed by authorities says Litzkow had been staring at people all night while in the bar. An employee tried to convince him to leave because he was making people nervous, according to police reports.

A witness told authorities that while Litzkow was sitting in his pickup he was stabbing the steering wheel with the knife. She says a man was cut when he tried to take the knife away.

The victim was transported to and treated at United Hospital District emergency room.

Litzkow told authorities he was defending himself because while the man was trying to get the knife he said he was going to stick him with it.

Authorities found the knife on the pickup floor next to the passenger door and there was blood on the 5-inch blade, says the complaint.

Assault in the second degree carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine, while disorderly conduct is punishable with 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.