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Potsdam swordsman picked up on violation of probation warrant

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POTSDAM - A Potsdam man charged with threatening to cut his uncle’s head off with a sword over the weekend was back in village court Tuesday evening after police picked him up on an alleged probation violation.

Village police had charged Mohamed R. (Ray) Bourhouat, 25, of 37 Waverly St., Apt. 1, Potsdam, with second-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon, criminal possession of a weapon with intent to use, second-degree menacing - weapon.

Police said Bourhouat had turned himself in at 8:19 p.m. Monday, He was arraigned by Potsdam Acting Village Justice Margaret I. Garner and sent to the St. Lawrence County Corrrectional Facility with bail set at $2,500 cash or $5,000 bond. She also ordered probation to conduct an alcohol evaluation. Bourhuoat posted the bail at the jail and was released.

But he was picked up again Tuesday evening on violation of probation warrants issued by Potsdam Village Court and St. Lawrence County Court.

Bourhouat was released on his own recognizance after pleading guilty to an aggravated driving while intoxicated count in Potsdam Village Court that also satisfied a driving while under the influence of drugs count pending in St. Lawrence County Court.

He was arraigned by Potsdam Village Justice Nicholas Pignone and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $20,000 cash or $40,000 bond. He was also being held pending arraignment Wednesday on the county court warrant.

Police said the sword incident took place at 3:15 a.m. Sunday when Bourhouat arrived at 6 Berkley Drive armed with a sword and attempted to assault Alex Bennani.

Police said Bourhouat entered Bennani’s residence and began an argument that started in the bedroom and then moved onto the front porch. Bourhouat reportedly made multiple threats to harm Bennani and struck the porch near the victim several times with the still sheathed blade.

As the argument, Bennani reportedly attempted to take the sword away from Bourhouat and in the struggle suffered what police described as significant lacerations to the index, middle and ring fingers of his right hand.

Bourhouat fled the scene prior to police arriving on the scene.

The victim was transported to Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where he was treated and released after receiving 20 stitches.

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