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Slayton man charged with multiple counts of felony harassment, threats of violence after dog incident

Woitaszewski is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Nov. 7.

Daniel Woitaszewski
Daniel Woitaszewski
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SLAYTON — A Slayton man has been issued a summons to appear in court on four counts of felony-level harassment, threats of violence, and misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and public nuisance.

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Charges stem from a reported incident involving multiple people and a large dog in the 2900 block of Pine Avenue in the city of Slayton. According to the police report, one of the complainants began having trouble with their neighbor, Daniel Jay Woitaszewski, 34, and his German shepherd, in September 2021.

The neighbor reported multiple occurrences of the German shepherd chasing their young puppy. After the German shepherd allegedly pinned the neighbor’s young dog in April and drew blood, the neighbor called the police and stated that they had repeatedly asked Woitaszewski to keep his dog from chasing the puppy.

Several days later, the neighbor had another altercation with Woitaszewski and his dog, after being awoken by Woitaszewski talking outside. The neighbor stated that they saw Woitaszewski and his dog sitting on his side of the property line bordering their two houses. The neighbor reportedly heard Woitaszewski tell his dog “this is the line, and if any of them cross it, you can kill them.”

Throughout the morning, Woitaszewski reportedly stayed near the neighbor’s property with his dog, at times just standing on the sidewalk near the neighbor’s property. The neighbor reported that they were afraid to take their dogs outside.

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While speaking with the neighbor on the phone, another neighbor came outside. According to the report, Woitaszewski immediately began to yell at the second neighbor.

At one point, the neighbor stated they had attempted to speak with Woitaszewski, and he began to yell at her. Several other neighbors and family members of the neighbor became involved as the day progressed, due to Woitaszewski’s continued presence in front of their homes with his dog.

Multiple instances of aggressive behavior from both Woitaszewski and his dog were reported. After Woitaszewski’s dog reportedly snapped at one individual, a relative of the neighbor requested that the police be called, and got between Woitaszewski and his dog, and the other individual, fearing for their safety.

Personnel with the Murray County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene. Woitaszewski was reportedly yelling that it was his right to walk his dog, and yelling obscenities. The dog repeatedly jumped at one individual. Woitaszewski reportedly got very close to the individual and threatened to kill them.

Law enforcement arrived and reportedly heard Woitaszewski threaten one of the individuals. While Woitaszewski was escorted back to his residence, he continued to yell obscenities, before taking out his phone and stating he was “live-streaming” everyone. Officers advised Woitaszewski walk his dog in a different direction. He declined.

Officers spoke with and received written statements from several of the neighbors and otherwise involved individuals.

Woitaszewski faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment, a $20,000 fine, or both, on each of the four counts of felony harassment, if convicted. Threats of violence carry a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.

He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Nov. 7.

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Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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