On December 13th, 2014 the Sparta Police Department made two arrests after a theft investigation revealed money was stolen from a local charity event. Paul Bublitz, 65 of Mauston, and his wife Mary Bublitz, 67, also of Mauston admitted to stealing several hundred dollars from an event that was held on December 7th at the Colonial Bowling and Banquet Center. Paul Bublitz, AKA “Buddy Lee” and Mary Bublitz have hosted the “Making Dreams Come True” benefit for the past 23 years in various cities. The Sparta event was supposed to raise money for “Christmas Toys for Kids”. Witnesses at the event reported suspicious money handling, including Paul Bublitz removing money from a collection jar and Mary Bublitz not turning in a money bag at the end of the event. The investigating officer contacted Paul Bublitz on December 13th and informed him that he was under investigation for theft. Bublitz called back a short time later and told the investigator that he found $390.00 that he accidentally took back to Mauston with him. Paul and Mary Bublitz returned to Sparta with the money. While being interviewed, Paul Bublitz admitted to stealing money throughout the day of the event by removing cash from a collection jar and placing it in his pocket. Mary Bublitz admitted she used two different money bags to collect cash but she only turned in one money bag. Mary Bublitz said they stole approximately $600.00. A portion of the money was returned, but they had already spent much of the money on clothes for Mary Bublitz and groceries. Despite past event locations reporting missing money, the Bublitz’ both insisted this was the first time they ever stole money, and they said they were sorry for stealing money that was supposed to help children.
On Saturday, December 6, 2014, at approximately 9:00 p.m., the Sparta Police Department responded to a report of a fight at a residence on the 600 block of John Street. Shortly before officers arrived, they learned that 46-year-old William M. Kreuzer of Sparta armed himself with a shotgun and barricaded himself inside the residence. The victim was able to safely leave the home. Officers established verbal communication with Kreuzer but he refused to exit the home. The Monroe County Combined Tactical Unit and a Police Negotiator were called to the scene. After about a three-hour standoff, Police did convince Kreuzer to exit the residence on his own and he was safely taken into custody. He is currently in the Monroe County Jail facing charges of Disorderly Conduct and Endangering Safety by Use of a Dangerous Weapon.
Also assisting at the scene were the Monroe County Sheriff's Department, the Wisconsin State Patrol, Sparta Area Ambulance Service, and the Monroe County 911 Communications Center
On November 22nd at 2:59 am an officer on patrol observed an equipment violation and stopped a car on Water Street near Walrath Street. The officer made contact with the driver, who claimed he had no identification. The driver was later identified as Eli J. Brush, 24, of New Lisbon, WI. When asked to write down his information, Brush wrote down someone else’s information. The information came back on file through DOT but did not match the driver. The officer confronted Brush about providing a false name. At that time Brush admitted that he lied about his identity, and said he lied because he didn’t want to get in trouble. Brush then wrote down a different name, which again did not match his information. The officer eventually learned through DOC (Department of Corrections) records that it was actually Brush, with his photo and tattoos matching DOC records. After lying twice about his identity, Brush gave his correct name and repeatedly asked the officer to give him a break and not arrest him. Brush was arrested and booked into the jail for Obstructing an Officer, and Misappropriation of Personal Identifying Information. Brush was cited for Operating While Suspended, and he was held on a Probation Hold.
On November 16th, an officer responded to a shoplifting complaint at Wal-Mart. Store security had observed Leah J. Bell, 28, of Sparta conceal items in her purse. Bell then purchased some other items but did not pay for the items she concealed. When confronted, Bell said she would pay for the items. The officer discovered that Bell was out on bond from a previous case still pending in Monroe County. Bell was arrested for Retail Theft and Bail Jumping. Once at the Monroe County Jail, a Jail Deputy discovered a hypodermic needle on Bell. Bell was booked into the jail for Retail Theft, Bail Jumping, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Bell was also held of a probation hold.
On November 8th an employee at Brenengen Ford discovered the back window of a 2013 Ford Escape was busted out. Investigation revealed that someone had spun their tires while driving through the gravel parking lot behind Wayside Tavern, causing gravel to fly up and hit the car. Surveillance video from the area shows Levi A. Rodebaugh, 24, of Sparta, get into his Chevy Silverado and proceed to accelerate rapidly, spinning his tires while he drove through the parking lot. In the video, gravel is seen being kicked up towards the Brenengen Ford lot. The investigating officer made contact with Rodebaugh, and he did not deny the incident. Rodebaugh was issued several citations, including reckless driving.
On November 8th, 2014 at 12:19 am officers responded to a vehicle vs. tree crash near the intersection of Walrath and Water Streets. Officers arrived to find a red Chevy Silverado with severe front end damage up against a tree. The occupants fled the scene prior to police arrival. Air bags were deployed and officers saw blood inside the vehicle. Damage to the windshield indicated at least two people were in the vehicle at the time of the crash, and they were not wearing seatbelts. Officers located empty beer cans, a marijuana pipe, and a small amount of marijuana in the car. At 2:59 pm officers responded to a disturbance involving the registered owner of the truck, Levi A. Rodebaugh, 24, of Sparta. Officers observed a wound on Rodebaugh’s head, consistent with his head hitting a windshield. Rodebaugh admitted he was the driver and he fled after the accident because he had a suspended license, had no insurance, and was texting while driving. Rodebaugh admitted to consuming alcohol before the crash, but he denied being intoxicated at the time. Rodebaugh was cited for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana, Hit and Run, Inattentive Driving, Operating After Suspension, Failure to Wear a Seatbelt, Reckless Driving, and Texting While Driving.
On October 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm officers were dispatched to Wal-Mart for a shoplifting complaint. Store security had witnessed Shaun H. Clancy, 37, of Viroqua, stealing several items of clothing. The items included socks, a shirt, pants, and underwear. When questioned by an officer, Clancy did not deny stealing the items; he said he just wanted to have some clean clothes. Clancy was arrested and transported to the Monroe County Jail where he was booked in for retail theft. He was held in jail on a probation hold.
On October 26, 2014 shortly before 1:00 am an officer on patrol stopped a vehicle on Angelo Rd. for expired registration. The officer recognized one the passengers as Ron M. Collins, 44, of Sparta. Collins had bond conditions from several previous cases, which included a court imposed curfew of 7:00 pm unless work related. Collins was nowhere near his place of employment on Milwaukee Street or his residence on Water St. Collins claimed he had just gotten done with work and was headed home. Collins was arrested on 5 counts of bail jumping and he was booked into the Monroe County Jail.
On October 27, at 8:09 pm Bond Monitoring called to report that Jody R. Lorentson, 43, of Sparta, was out past her court imposed 7:00 pm curfew. Lorentson was out on bond from a previous case that also prohibited her from possessing a controlled substance without a valid prescription in her own name. Shortly before 9:00 pm an officer located Lorentson walking near Myrtle and Oak. Lorentson was arrested for bail jumping. A search of her purse revealed medicine that was not in a proper container and not believed to be prescribed to her. Lorentson was booked into the Monroe County Jail.
On October 11th, shortly before 3:00 am an officer patrolling on Wisconsin St. noticed a vehicle with a brake light out. The officer stopped the car in the Wal-Mart parking lot and made contact with the driver, Anthony M. VanScoik, 30, of Onalaska. The officer detected a marijuana smell coming from the car, so he asked VanScoik if he had any marijuana in the vehicle. VanScoik told the officer he had a little bit in the car, and he handed it over to the officer. VanScoik also handed the officer a glass pipe believed to be used to smoke marijuana. While searching the rest of the car, the officer located more marijuana, another pipe, a marijuana grinder, a digital scale, and nearly $500.00 in cash. VanScoik was arrested for Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He will be referred to the district attorney’s office for Possession with Intent to Deliver.
On October 18th, at around 6:30 pm officers had a vehicle pulled over on the gravel road west of the VFW. Channing H. Mathews, 22, of Sparta, then drove over to the location of the stop to tell the occupants of the car how to deal with police. Mathews made derogatory comments about the officers and then drove off. An officer on scene recognized Mathews and had dispatch run a check on him. Mathews had a warrant for his arrest out of Monroe County from a previous case in which he caused a disturbance on a traffic stop and then failed to appear in court on a disorderly conduct charge. Officers located Mathews in the VFW parking lot. Mathews provided a false name, but the officers recognized him and knew he had a history of providing false names when dealing with the police. Mathews attempted to pull away from the arresting officers but he was quickly taken into custody. Mathews was arrested on the warrant and also booked into the jail for Obstructing an Officer.
On October 13th, shortly before 2:00 pm officers responded to Memorial Park for a complaint that a vehicle was spinning out in the grass, causing damage to the lawn. The witness provided a license plate number and description of the car. Shortly after leaving the park, an officer spotted the vehicle on Black River St. The officer pulled over the car and made contact with the driver, 18 year old Tyler J. Gebhardt of Sparta. The officer noticed grass on the hood, sides, and trunk of the car. Gebhardt first said he had no idea how the grass got on his car, but later said he was spinning out on a friend’s yard. The officer asked for his friend’s phone number so he could verify his story, but Gebhardt informed the officer he was not entitled to that information. Gebhardt was cited for Unauthorized Driving on Park Grounds. He was also cited for Criminal Damage to Property and Operating Without Insurance.
On October 5th at 10:52 pm Sparta Officers responded to a motor vehicle crash on the 700 block of Wolcott St. Dustin W. Bramley, 34, of Staunton, IL was driving westbound on Wolcott when he crossed over the center of the street and struck a power pole on the opposite side. Bramley continued westbound and he struck a mailbox. After striking the mailbox, Bramley hit a parked vehicle head-on, which caused that vehicle to crash into another parked car. Officers noted Bramley showed signs of impairment, and he was believed to be under the influence of marijuana. He admitted to smoking marijuana earlier, and officers located several grams of marijuana in a bank bag lying outside the driver’s door of Bramley’s vehicle. The bag had the name “Dustin” written on it. Bramley was arrested for Operating While Under the Influence, 1st offense. Bramley was also cited for Possession of Marijuana, Operating Left of Center Line, and Operating Without Insurance.
On October 9th at 4:49 pm an officer responded to a complaint about a stray dog that someone captured on Walrath St. The officer responded, took custody of the dog, and checked the tags for owner information. The owner was determined to be Richard A. Clark, 60, who lives on Mill St. several blocks from where the dog was found. When checking Clark’s information, the officer discovered that he was out on bond from a previous criminal case in Monroe County. His bond conditions indicated he was not to consume alcohol. When the officer took his dog back to him, he noted Clark appeared intoxicated. Clark admitted to drinking alcohol, and he registered .269 on a breath test. The officer returned the dog, and then placed Clark under arrest for bail jumping. Clark was transported to the Monroe County Jail. The dog was left at Clark’s residence.
On October 1, 2014 the Sparta Police Department received a complaint from the parent of a Cub Scout who was selling popcorn door to door. Three children had walked up and knocked on the door at 616 Walrath St., the residence of 22 year old Owen S. Reese. Reese opened the door holding a sword above his head and immediately started yelling at the children. Reese made threatening motions toward the children, while he yelled at them to leave. Reese got within about five feet of the children, while still holding the sword above his head and motioning like he was going to swing it at them. The parent yelled at the children to get away and they escaped unharmed.
Officers made contact with Reese, at which time he came out of the residence holding a sword, with both hands at shoulder height. Officers aimed their weapons at Reese and ordered him to drop the sword. Reese immediately surrendered and dropped the sword. Reese was taken into custody and transported to the Monroe County Jail. Officers searching the residence located a large number of knives and swords, as well as marijuana and several smoking devices.
Reese told officers he always answers the door with a sword to protect himself against religious people.
Reese was booked into the Monroe County Jail for Recklessly Endangering Safety and he was cited for drug related offenses.