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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man has been acquitted, due to mental illness, of charges stemming from an incident in the city two years ago that could have resulted in a murder.

61-year-old Omar Alasow was accused of pointing a gun at a former neighbor and pulling the trigger. When he first released information about the incident in late March 2020, Rochester Police Captain Casey Moilanan was quoted as saying "Thankfully, the gun jammed."

Olmsted County ADC
Olmsted County ADC
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The victim in the case, a then 50-year-old woman, told police she was in the parking lot of The Square on 31st apartment complex when she saw a former neighbor nearby. She indicated that, as she approached him, he suddenly pulled out a handgun, pointed it at her, and pulled the trigger. She told police she then ran away from the Alasow and could hear the gun clicking as he chased after her.

The police report says some maintenance workers witnessed the incident, and the man climbed back into his car and drove away when they yelled at him. A police officer later spotted the vehicle and Alasow was taken into custody without incident in the parking lot of Park Towers. A loaded 9-millimeter pistol was found in the front seat.

photo by Kim David
photo by Kim David
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Alasow was charged with second-degree assault and a felony charge of aggravated harassment in possession of a dangerous weapon. He waived his right to a jury trial, resulting in a court trial last month. The judge in the case has since found him not guilty of both charges due to mental illness or cognitive impairment. The court is now waiting for the results of an evaluation to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support having Asalow civilly committed.

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