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Man who came to Mason City and threatened to slice a person’s neck sent to jail

MASON CITY – An Iowa man who traveled to Mason City and threatened to potentially kill a person has been sentenced to jail.

The dangerous situation unfolded just before 2 AM Friday, October 28. At 1:58 AM, police say, it was initially reported that a known male arrived at a residence in the 500 block of South Massachusetts Avenue, armed with weapons, and made threats. The male then left in a car.

Mason City police officers and Cerro Gordo deputies located the suspect vehicle and occupant(s) near 9th and North Washington and made contact with them there. This is the same location where a shooting took place days earlier that shattered a woman’s arm. Tomas James Berk, age 21 of Aerdale, Iowa, was arrested for first-degree harassment (an Aggravated Misdemeanor) and jailed. Berk allegedly threatened to slit someone’s throat with a knife.

The trouble may have started on social media, police reason, saying “it sounds like there may have been some social media posts that led to criminal mischief, possibly followed by Berk’s actions. The groups of young people involved knew each other and this dispute seemed to escalate quickly.”

In November, Berk and his public defender entered a guilty plea to first-degree harassment. He was given a 365-day jail sentence with all but 5 days suspended. He was put on probation for a year and ordered to pay $220.50 in court fees.

Berk’s not out of the woods yet, though, as a felony charge of second-degree burglary has been brought against him in Hancock county in connection to an incident on October 18. He is scheduled for a plea change and sentencing hearing on January 3.

Berk, Tomas James
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