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A Columbus man accused of terrorizing his neighbors with a large knife while shouting verbal threats is being held in Platte County Jail on a $100,000 bond with a 10-percent option.

Hugo R. Cisneros, 37, faces four felony charges stemming from the mid-December incident. He is scheduled to appear in Platte County Court before Judge Frank Skorupa at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 17.

The defendant has been charged with two counts of making terroristic threats, Class IIIA felonies; and two counts of using a deadly weapon to commit a felony; Class II felonies. Under Nebraska state law, Cisneros could receive a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both, on the IIIA felonies, and a maximum of 50 years in prison on the Class II felonies.

At 1:03 a.m. Dec. 17, Columbus Police Officer Brian Hunke was dispatched to an apartment complex located in the 1100 block of Fifth Street in regard to a woman stating that a male was chasing her around the apartment building with a large knife, according to a warrantless arrest affidavit.

Upon arrival, Hunke made contact with the woman and another party. The woman reported that she went to do some laundry and that a man who lives in the downstairs area came around the corner with a large knife, court records show.

Cisneros allegedly started saying “What’s up” while holding a knife in the air. The second witness reportedly stepped out in the hallway after hearing the commotion which led to the defendant continuing to say “what’s up” among other expletives. He noted that the defendant allegedly was standing in front of them outside the door to their apartment.

Both reporting parties said that Cisneros lifted the knife above his head and made stabbing gestures, which led them to shut the door and contact law enforcement, according to the affidavit.

According to court records, the duo said that they have had problems with the defendant in the past. They also reportedly showed Hunke gouge marks made in their door – appearing to be made with a sharp object – which they suspected the defendant made. Both witnesses reportedly said they feared for their lives.

Contact was subsequently made with Cisneros who allegedly denied being in the upstairs area of the apartment and said he didn’t know the people who talked to police. Speaking with Cisneros, court records show the officer noticed a large knife sheath sitting on Cisneros’ kitchen counter and subsequently located a large Bowie knife with a curved blade under some clothes in an open suitcase on a bedroom floor.

After being placed under arrest, court records show that the two alleged victims identified the defendant as being the man who threatened them with the blade.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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