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Man who rushed cop with knife sentenced

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A Cottage Grove man who ran at a cop while wielding a knife and pepper spray was convicted of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

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James Lee Andrew Ott, 29, was sentenced July 11 to seven years probation, 180 days in jail and other terms, after he pleaded guilty to felony second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon. The charge stemmed from a Sept. 28, 2013, incident in Cottage Grove.

According to the criminal complaint filed in Washington County District Court:

A Cottage Grove police officer went to a home in the 8000 block of Hyde Lane while following up on a harassment case. A male had reported that he was concerned about his safety and the safety of a female. The female’s parents told the officer that the suspect, identified as Ott, was intoxicated and had a history of domestic abuse.

The officer went to speak with the female. As the officer waited outside the front door, he saw a man, identified as Ott, sprint toward him while holding two objects in his hands. The officer drew his service pistol and aimed it at Ott while ordering him to lie on the ground. But Ott kept running, and when he was about 15 feet away the officer could see that Ott was holding a knife and pepper spray. The officer thought Ott was going to attack him, but “right before the officer took further action” Ott dropped the knife and fell to the ground, the complaint states.

Ott was arrested.

The male who initially called police said he had received text messages from Ott in which he threatened him with a .45 caliber pistol and attempted to lure him to a home.

In an interview with police after his arrest, Ott admitted that he thought the male and female were having an affair and that he wanted to confront the man. He also admitted that he rushed the officer and that he believed his actions would cause fear for anyone who was standing outside the female’s front door that night.

The female told police she knew the male but they were not in a relationship.

A judge ordered a stay of execution on Ott’s 21-month prison sentence, but put him on seven years probation. His 180 days of local confinement is to be split among home monitoring, jail time with work release and the Sentence to Serve program.

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Scott Wente
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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