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Slayton man charged for assault with dangerous weapon

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news Worthington, 56187
Daily Globe
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Worthington Minnesota 300 11th Street / P.O. Box 639 56187

SLAYTON -- Daniel Jay Woitaszewski, 24, of Slayton, was denied a public defender Monday after being arrested the previous day for using a knife to stab tires and threaten another man.

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Woitaszewski, who has convictions of assault, obstruction, receiving stolen property, witness tampering and burglary in several counties, is now facing charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, terroristic threats, violating an order for protection while possessing a dangerous weapon, property damage, fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct, possession of more than 1.4 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Authorities were dispatched Sunday shortly after 2 p.m. and attempted to locate Woitaszewski, who was reportedly still driving around the area.

When attempts to locate him were unsuccessful, a Slayton Police officer spoke with the victim and several witnesses in the 2300 block of Juniper Avenue, where the alleged incident took place.

The victim said Woitaszewski had followed him in his vehicle, driving recklessly and using his own car to nudge the victim's bumper.

"It should be noted that similar behavior by Woitaszewski has been reported by others in the past," the complaint states.

When the victim called some friends, they told him to come to their residence at Halter Place Apartments. He said he parked in the lot, and Woitaszewski parked in the street and got out of his vehicle with a knife, stating he was going to kill the victim.

Woitaszewski allegedly came around the victim's car with a "butterfly" type knife pointed at the victim's face. He then used the knife to stab two of the victim's tires before running away.

When the officer examined the victim's car, he noted two slashed tires and a dent in the front fender. The victim thought the incident occurred because he is dating Woitaszewski's ex-girlfriend.

Several of the victim's friends observed the incident, as did an unaffiliated witness who lives in the apartment building.

The witness from the building said she saw Woitaszewski cut the tires and hit the fender.

After leaving the scene, the officer got word that Woitaszewski had been stopped by a Minnesota State Patrol officer, with assistance from a Fulda Police officer. Woitaszewski was brought to the law enforcement center at the Murray County Sheriff's Office, as was his vehicle.

A passenger in the vehicle, the ex-girlfriend who has an active order for protection against Woitaszewski, arranged for her own transportation back to Slayton.

The MSP officer reported the knife the Slayton officer was looking for was in plain view inside the driver's door pocket.

During the interview with Woitaszewski, the officer reported his initial demeanor as "evasive."

"(He wanted) me to give him information about the incident, as I have seen him do in past interviews," the officer's report states. "... he did eventually admit he had screwed up and that it was eating at him since it happened."

Woitaszewski allegedly told the officer the order for protection against him had been dropped. When talking to the ex-girlfriend, the officer learned the order was still active, but that she had spoken of dropping it.

The knife was located in the vehicle, along with 1.6 grams of marijuana and a glass pipe.

Bail was set at $25,000.

Woitaszewski has a history of violent and threatening behavior, including the incident of witness tampering in 2009, in which he threatened a 79-year-old woman who had reportedly been chased by his pit bull and was planning on calling police.

The woman told police she was afraid of Woitaszewski, his dogs and possible retaliation, as were others in the neighborhood.

He was also convicted of charges stemming from burglaries at a liquor store and the teen center in Slayton.

Through plea agreements, Woitaszewski has pleaded out of several serious charges in the past, managing to keep most of his convictions under the felony level and his jail time to a minimum.

The second-degree assault charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years incarceration.

Readers may reach Daily Globe reporter Justine Wettschreck at

376-7322.

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