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Man racks up fourth under 21 consumption charge

WORTHINGTON -- Only hours after others had rung in the new year, James Adam Juarez was being escorted into the back of a squad car, accompanied by an officer from the Worthington Police Department and the smell of alcohol.

He didn't remember everything that had happened that night, he allegedly told the officer during a later questioning session, but did remember playing "beer pong," going to a bar and taking ecstasy, which he said made him feel good.

Normally, in his right mind, he reportedly stated, he would not rob anyone.

Juarez, 19, of Worthington, was charged earlier this week with two counts of first-degree burglary and terroristic threats -- all felonies.

He was also charged with fifth-degree assault and under 21 consumption.

The consumption charge was his fourth since April 2010, according to documents filed with MNCIS, the Minnesota electronic court document filing system.

He plea bargained out of the April charge in Nobles County District Court, pleaded guilty instead to a disorderly conduct charge and racked up a $300 fine, which has not been paid to date.

Before that plea took place, Juarez had already been charged again in Nobles County.

He pleaded guilty in October 2010 to both disorderly conduct and under 21 consumption, was fined $400 plus surcharges, and has only paid $20 of those debts.

Again, before that plea took place, he was charged with under 21 consumption, this time in Yellow Medicine County.

The offense took place Sept. 4, 2010, he was charged Sept. 15 and had paid the $185 fine by mid- October.

Within two weeks, however, he was charged in Nobles County for driving without a valid license and fined $182. That fine is currently unpaid.

When the new charges were filed this week, Juarez was still on probation from the April 2010 charges.

Juarez's new criminal complaint states authorities were contacted shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday regarding an assault that took place at the Thompson Apartments.

At the scene, two officers met with the victim, who said a man had come into his apartment and hit him.

A witness said the suspect was Juarez, who was still in the building.

According to the victim's statements, upon hearing a loud noise in the hallway he opened the door and saw two men, one of whom told him to give him $10.

The victim said he went back in his apartment and tried to close the door, but the man forced his way in, knocked him to the floor and hit him on the arm and cheek.

The man reached into the victim's pockets trying to find money, the victim said.

When he grabbed a phone and said he was calling the police, the man tried to take his phone from him.

That was when the second man, a witness, came in and pulled the man off him and out of the apartment, the victim said.

The witness told officers he was with Juarez, who was "really drunk" and tried to hit him.

When the victim came out into the hallway, Juarez allegedly demanded money and "went after him," pushing into the apartment, the witness said.

After the witness pulled Juarez off the victim, Juarez "took off," the victim said.

A second witness' version of events was consistent with that of the first witness and the victim.

Juarez was located on the third floor of the building lying on his back in a hallway.

His shoes were allegedly on the floor next to him, his eyes were closed and he did not move as the officer approached.

According to the officer, Juarez smelled of alcohol. The complaint states Juarez argued at first as he was being handcuffed for safety, then complied with instructions, but as the officer led him to the car Juarez seemed to get angrier and angrier, stiffening up and turning toward the officer.

He allegedly made voluntary statements to the officer on the way to the jail, which the officer video taped.

Juarez allegedly asked the officer if he had been shot in the chest, invited the officer to beat him up and told the officer he knew where the officer lived.

He told the officer the prosecution can never get witnesses to testify against him and that would be the case in this instance, as well.

Juarez also made statements the officer considered threatening toward himself and his family.

Another officer interviewed Juarez later that day, and Juarez allegedly stated he had been playing beer pong at El Taco restaurant before heading to the Long Branch Saloon.

He allegedly admitted to taking an ecstasy pill around 8 p.m. and said he takes medication for schizophrenia, depression and bi-polar disorder.

He stated he does not know anyone at the Thompson Apartments and had no reason to be there.

Juarez told the officer he had gotten fired, was drinking a lot and needed help with his drinking.