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Stewartville man accused of threatening store clerk

From staff reports

A Stewartville man faces criminal charges for allegedly using a knife to threaten a clerk at a Rochester convenience store after being told he couldn't smoke inside the business.

James Edward Lillard, 54, is charged with making terroristic threats (a felony) and disorderly conduct (a misdemeanor). Bail is set at $25,000 without conditions, or $5,000 with conditions. He returns to court Feb. 7.

According to the criminal complaint, the charges stem from an incident on Jan. 22 at a SuperAmerica store in Rochester. He allegedly went into the store smoking a cigarette. The clerk told him he couldn't smoke inside. Lillard left, put out the cigarette and returned.

When the clerk explained that he was allergic to cigarette smoke, he said, Lillard became verbally abusive.

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The clerk told Lillard he would have to leave and, according to the clerk, Lillard pulled out a knife, waved it at him and threatened him verbally, according to the complaint. The clerk called police.

Lillard denies pulling a knife on the clerk.

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