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Rochester man arrested for robbery, tire slashing

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Phillip Kuch
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Police arrested a Rochester man they say robbed another person at knifepoint and slashed a woman’s car tires in a downtown parking ramp.

Phillip Steven Kuch, 34, was arrested Sunday night in a downtown parking ramp by Rochester police, according to Lt. Mike Sadauskis. Kuch made his first appearance in Olmsted County District Court Monday morning on two separate cases.

Police received a report around 1:50 p.m. Sunday from a 29-year-old Zumbrota woman who said that her tire had been slashed in the parking ramp, Sadauskis said. A passenger in the woman’s vehicle, a 29-year-old Rochester man, told police that he and the woman, whom he had just met, were driving in the parking ramp when a man came up and slashed one or two of the car’s tires. The man, later identified as Kuch, then began punching the passenger window with the knife still in his hand, Sadauskis said. This continued off-and-on as the car would pull forward and then stop again in the ramp. Kuch eventually left.

Surveillance footage from the ramp shows Kuch going to the passenger side of the woman’s car in an aggressive posture and making a thrusting or pointing motion toward the window as well as making a stabbing motion, according to court documents.

Kuch was charged with felony harassment and felony stalking as well as a gross misdemeanor charge of domestic abuse and misdemeanor fourth-degree intentional damage to property. Judge Christina Stevens set conditional bail at $25,000 and unconditional bail at $75,000.

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About an hour after police took the report of the parking ramp incident, police were called to a downtown hotel to speak with a 30-year-old man. The man reported that earlier that day he had been robbed at knifepoint in the 100 block of Third Avenue Southwest The man identified the assailant as Kuch, according to police.

Items taken from the man included plastic bags filled with personal items, bank cards and the man’s cell phone. Police were able to corroborate the incident using surveillance footage. Kuch was arrested at around 9:30 p.m. Sunday. An officer on routine patrol in the downtown skyways and parking ramps located Kuch sleeping in the stairwell of a ramp. At the time of his arrest, police allegedly found a knife in Kuch’s pocket.

For the theft incident, Kuch was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery. second-degree assault, harassment and stalking — all felonies. Judge Stevens set conditional bail at $25,000 and unconditional bail at $75,000. In both cases, Kuch’s next court appearance is set for Nov. 26.

Related Topics: POLICECRIME
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