Austin Bercier, Minot, charged with robbery, aggravated assault

Austin James Bercier, 21, Minot, is accused of hitting a man in the back of a head with a pipe and then robbing him on Thursday.

Bercier is charged in district court in Minot with Class B felony robbery and Class C felony aggravated assault.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed with the court, the alleged victim had gone over to the home of an older man. The alleged victim walked through the man’s front door and Bercier, who was hiding behind the door, came out and hit him in the back of the head with the copper brown pipe. The alleged victim fell to the floor and his head was bleeding.

The alleged victim told police that Bercier then held the pipe over his head, prepared to strike again, and Bercier told him to empty out his pockets. The alleged victim told police that Bercier took a pack of cigarettes and a black bag containing foreign coins.

While this was happening, the older man – whom the alleged victim thought was his friend – just stood by and watched. Bercier accused the alleged victim of stealing $20 off the older man’s dresser two or three days prior to the attack.

The alleged victim had a bloody two-inch laceration on his head, according to the affidavit.

Bercier is being held at the Ward County Jail on $100,000 cash or corporate surety bond. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 16 before Judge Richard Hagar.