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Man accused of threats with knife, screwdriver

felony, montemayor, domestic assault, steele county, 2023
Nereus Montemayor
Kay Fate, Staff Writer

An Owatonna man faces a pair of felony charges after authorities say he threatened a woman with a steak knife and a screwdriver and attempted to choke her.

Nereus Roberto Montemayor, 34, will make his initial appearance this week in Steele County District Court, where he’s been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, as well as domestic assault.

He was released from custody in lieu of $25,000 conditional bail.

The case began Jan. 20, when Owatonna police were called to a business for a report of a domestic assault. A woman told officers Montemayor took her car keys and ran away. As she spoke with police, she spotted Montemayor in the middle of the ball diamonds in Fairgrounds Park on 18th Street Southeast.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim told police she and Montemayor had argued earlier, then he got mad and tried to put his hands around her neck. When the woman pushed him away, Montemayor allegedly grabbed a screwdriver and threatened her with it, holding it up like he was going to stab her, the report says.

Though he claimed he was joking, Montemayor then blocked the door of the residence so the woman couldn’t leave. To escape the home, she “convinced” Montemayor she wasn’t upset, and the two got into a vehicle together.

He became angry as she drove, attempting to take the keys out of the ignition at an intersection. When the woman pulled into a business, Montemayor grabbed the keys and ran away.

The victim told officers that a few days earlier, Montemayor threatened her with a steak knife during an argument, the complaint says. He reportedly pointed it at her and stepped toward her.

The woman said though Montemayor hasn’t made any direct threats to kill her, he has allegedly told her he’s going to bash her head in.

An officer went to the residence where the Jan. 20 incident began. His notes mention a black and red screwdriver on the bedside table.

A review of Montemayor’s criminal history reflects 2022 convictions for gross misdemeanor third-degree damage to property, fourth-degree assault of a peace officer, and misdemeanor domestic assault.

In the assault cases, Judge Joseph Bueltel sentenced Montemayor to 365 days in jail, stayed for two years, with credit for time served. He was also ordered to complete a domestic abuse diagnostic assessment and follow all recommendations, among other conditions.

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