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Dance floor fight leads to criminal charges

Posted: January 14, 2014 - 1:59pm  |  Updated: January 15, 2014 - 1:04am

A 46-year-old man is facing assault and weapons misconduct charges for allegedly threatening a woman with a knife at a Front Street bar in downtown Juneau over the weekend. The man is also charged with failing to inform police about the weapon when they inquired.

Prosecutors say James C. Cole was kicked out of the Viking Lounge by the bouncer around 2 a.m. Saturday morning after he allegedly pushed a woman to the ground on the dance floor and “shoulder checked” her twice.

According to a criminal complaint, two women told police that Cole had been following one of them all night and “had got in her face” on the dance floor. The other woman approached Cole out of concern for her friend, and Cole pushed her to the ground and shoulder checked her, the complaint states.

He was escorted out of the bar, but made contact with the woman he was allegedly following a few minutes later outside as she was smoking a cigarette. The woman (who is only identified in court documents by her initials, KB) told police Cole opened his jacket, took out a knife and held it in his hand.

“Defendant did not say anything to KB, but KB was afraid that Defendant was going to hurt her with the knife,” Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Polasky wrote.

He was charged with third-degree assault, a felony, for placing her in fear of imminent serious physical injury with a knife. That offense can be punishable by up to five years in prison.

When interviewed about the incident by police, Cole said he was dancing in the bar when “a girl pushed him because he was staring at her friend and she took it the wrong way,” the document reads. “Defendant says he pushed the female back.”

The charging document says Cole had blood on his face when police initially contacted him.

Prosecutors say Cole also refused to answer questions from responding police officers about the knife. Police ultimately located a seven-inch fixed blade knife in his jacket pocket, prosecutors say.

That led Cole to be charged with fifth-degree weapons misconduct for possessing a concealed weapon and failing to inform police about it when contacted.

Court records show Cole is being held at Lemon Creek Correctional Center. He is scheduled to appear in Juneau District Court late this afternoon.

• Contact reporter Emily Russo Miller at 523-2263 or at emily.miller@juneauempire.com.

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