On Thursday, July 10, 2014 at approximately 12:45 a.m., a Sparta officer on routine patrol conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for a defective registration lamp. The driver, later identified by a Wisconsin DL as Kyle Bliznik, 31 of Sparta, displayed signs of intoxication. The officer could smell a strong odor of intoxicants and noticed Bliznik's eyes were red and glossy, consistent with impairment. Bliznik was put through field sobriety tests and given a PBT that resulted in a .137 alcohol concentration. A search of the vehicle incident to an arrest produced a glass jar containing plant material that tested positive for marijuana. Bliznik was arrested for Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated-1st Offense. He was issued municipal citations for Operating w/a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration and Possession of Marijuana. He was transported to the Monroe County Jail without incident.
On July 5, 2014 at approximately 9:00 p.m., Sparta officers responded to a reckless driving complaint at Walmart. During the investigation, it was determined that a physical fight also occurred. Officers were advised by Dispatch that the caller, Blaine R. Husband, 20 of Sparta, was advising that a juvenile male subject attempted to run his vehicle off the roadway and was then chased by the vehicle in the Walmart parking lot. The investigation revealed that Husband and the juvenile male knew each other through mutual friends and had been feuding on Facebook. Husband advised that he went to confront the juvenile male at his residence and was punched by a female, later identified as Jamie L. Schroeder, 26 of Sparta, who had answered the door. Another male subject at that residence, later identified as Stephen L. Roach, 42 of Sparta, came out of the residence and attempted to spray Husband in the face with pepper spray. Roach then followed Husband's vehicle to Walmart and attempted to sideswipe Husband's vehicle before he left the area. Schroeder advised Husband had been at her residence prior to this incident and had taken brass knuckles out of his pocket and lifted his fist at them. Schroeder told Husband to leave during that incident and when he refused he was chased away from the residence. Jamie Schroeder was issued a citation for Disorderly Conduct-Fighting. Stephen Roach was issued citations for Reckless Driving and Disorderly Conduct-Fighting. Blaine Husband was issued citations for Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Disorderly Conduct-Fighting.
On July 5, 2014 at approximately 3:00 a.m., a Sparta officer out on routine patrol observed a vehicle traveling on W. Wisconsin St without a high mounted stop lamp. The officer observed the vehicle making a wide right turn onto Jefferson St and attempted to pull the vehicle over. When the vehicle pulled over it forcefully struck the curb. When the officer made contact with the driver, later identified as Jacob B. Peterson, 19 of Cashton, he was able to smell an odor of intoxicants coming from the vehicle. Peterson was placed through field sobriety and administered a PBT which resulted in a reading of .135. Peterson was arrested for 1st Offense OWI transported to the Jail. He was cited for Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration. A juvenile passenger was issued a citation for Underage Drinking.
On Saturday, July 5, 2014 at approximately 7:30 p.m., a Sparta officer on routine patrol was flagged down by a male subject near the 800 block of Mill St where the operator of a vehicle had stopped in the lane of traffic and signaled for the officer to stop. The male subject, identified as Richard A. Clark, 60 of Sparta, wished to speak with the officer in reference to fireworks in his neighborhood. While the officer was out with Clark, he observed indicators of impairment. Clark did admit he consumed alcohol and that he was driving to find out where the fireworks were being shot off at. Clark was administered field sobriety tests and PBT'd with a result of .412. He was arrested for 3rd Offense OWI and transported to the Jail without incident.
Ryan has been located and is safe, his family has since been in contact with him. Thank you FB friends for all of the shares and likes which helped get this information out to almost 3,500 people.
MISSING: Ryan P. Schnitzler, 28 years old. Ryan has been missing since June 29, 2014. Ryan advised family he would be gone a short time and has not been seen or heard from since. He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, blue athletic shorts, and dark colored shoes. He may be driving a gold Dodge Caravan. If you have seen or heard from Ryan, please contact the Sparta Police Department at 608-269-3122.
UPDATE: Phillip Zettler has been located and arrested in another county.
On Monday, July 7, 2014 at approximately 1:00 a.m., a Sparta officer on routine patrol attempted to step out with a vehicle in the Walmart parking lot that was believed to be related to an incident that had occurred earlier where two male subjects ran from a traffic stop. While attempting to make contact with the subjects in the vehicle, both ran from the vehicle. After a short foot pursuit, Bradley D. Hasselberger, 31 of Tomah, was apprehended and placed under arrest. The other subject from the vehicle, believed to be Phillip Zettler, 32 of Monico, was not apprehended. Zettler is still wanted by the Sparta Police Department for local charges and a DOC Warrant. Please do not try to apprehend the subject yourself, call your local law enforcement agency. Hasselberger was transported to the Monroe County Jail.
On Saturday, July 5, 2014 at 4:30 p.m., a Sparta officer responded to Monroe County Justice Sanctions for a bail jumping complaint. Justice Sanctions reported that Cynthia Pergande, 49 of Warrens, had bond conditions prohibiting her from consuming alcohol and she had submitted to a PBT which resulted in a .053 alcohol concentration. While the officer was attempting to take Pergande into custody and handcuff her, Pergande resisted and struggled with the officer. Pergande was arrested for Resisting an Officer and Misdemeanor Bail Jumping X2. Pergande was transported to the Jail where she remained uncooperative with the Jail staff until she was placed in a receiving cell.
On Friday, July 4, 2014 at approximately 4 p.m., Sparta officers were advised of a male subject trying to get into the callers residence on N. Benton St. and would not leave. Officer arrived and made contact with Michael J. Edwards, 46 of Sparta, who appeared to be under of the influence of an unknown substance. The property owner did not want to come to the door for officers until Edwards left the area. Edwards was being loud and uncooperative and was asked numerous times by officers to leave the area but refused. Edwards was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and placed on a Probation Hold. He was transported to the Monroe County Jail.
On Friday, July 4, 2014 at approximately 2:45 p.m., Sparta officers responded to a disturbance that was no longer in progress at 701 Wolcott St between Robert Bixby, 49 of Warrens and Cody Jotham, 21 of Sparta. Jotham had left prior to officer arrival but had reportedly choked Bixby until he lost consciousness. Jotham was later interviewed and admitted to going up behind Bixby and putting him in a headlock. He admitted he held Bixby in a headlock around his neck until he was no longer resisting and went limp. Jotham was arrested for Disorderly Conduct, Substantial Battery, and Strangulation/Suffocation. Jotham was transported to the Monroe County Jail without incident.
On Friday, July 4, 2014 at approximately 4:00 p.m., Sparta officers were advised of a disturbance in the 300 block of S. Water Street between a male and female. Upon arrival, officers learned that the male subject, later identified as Jesse Russell, 34 of Sparta, had already left the scene. The officer then located Russell near the 400 block of S. Water St. Both subjects denied anything physical happened but witnesses advised the subjects were throwing punches at each other. The female subject, verbally identified as Angela Schwartz, 37 of Sparta, was issued a citation for Disorderly Conduct. Russell was also issued a citation for Disorderly Conduct and arrested on a Probation Hold. Russell was transported to the Jail without incident.
On June 24, 2014 at approximately 7:30 p.m. an officer was asked to assist a Monroe County Deputy at the Silverdale Bar just outside the City limits after a caller reported seeing Jeremy Busch, 22 from Sparta, at the bar with an ankle bracelet on. The Department of Corrections had issued a warrant for Busch on June 6th and officers located him on a deck outside the bar. Busch was taken into custody without further incident and transported to the Monroe County Jail.
On June 23, 2014 at approximately 10:25 p.m. officers were asked to investigate a stranded motorist at the BP Travel Center that had called seeking financial assistance. The caller claimed she was traveling from Chicago to Winona and had run out of gas and had no money to purchase more. Officers discovered that the vehicle involved was reported stolen from Chicago in May 2014. The driver of the vehicle, Dashay Verner, 20 from Winona, MN, told the officers that she mutually purchased the vehicle with her boyfriend who cosigned the loan and had the vehicle titled in his name. She claimed she did not know why he reported it as stolen, but acknowledged she no longer talked with her boyfriend. The vehicle owner was called and confirmed that he cosigned the loan and that he reported it stolen after Verner refused to return the car to him and she had received several traffic citations that he did not want to be responsible for. Verner was arrested for Operating a Motor Vehicle without Owner Consent. A 14 year old passenger in the vehicle, also from Winona, was released to a family member.
On June 18, 2014 at approximately 6:50 p.m. officers responded to a traffic crash on Iband Ave near Highway 27. A vehicle being driven by Carol Schams, 70 from LaCrosse, left the roadway at a curve and drove into a grassy field. In talking with Schams about the crash the officer could smell the odor of alcohol and noted signs of impairment. The officer had Schams attempt several field sobriety tests before determining she was impaired due to alcohol consumption which likely led to the crash. Schams was arrested for OMVWI and later submitted to chemical testing which indicated an alcohol concentration of .18. Schams received additional citations for Operating with a Prohibited Alcohol Content and Operating Left of Center.
On June 19, 2014 at approximately 1:15 a.m. officers responded to 911 call from Eric Anderson, 26 from Sparta, claiming Monta Groce, 28 from Sparta, showed him a silver colored pistol and said he was taking his car. While questioning Anderson officers discovered that his initial story was disingenuous and that he actually called police in attempt to get Groce in trouble after he sold him some fake drugs. Anderson was adamant however that Groce was armed with a pistol and that he had displayed it to him. Officers were familiar with Groce and knew he was wanted by the Department of Corrections. While officers were talking with Anderson, Monroe County Deputies located the missing vehicle on Pine Street and proceeded to stop it. Groce was the lone occupant and was taken into custody on the DOC warrant. The silver handgun described by Anderson was found under the driver seat. Groce was arrested for Felon in Possession of a Firearm and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. He was also cited for Operating after Revocation. Due to Anderson’s initial false claims about Groce taking the vehicle he was cited for Obstructing an Officer.
The Sparta Police Department has concluded an investigation into the illegal tattooing of Children and has arrested Logan Tormoen, 24 from Sparta, and is seeking charges on Andrew Turnmire, 20 from La Crosse for the crime of Tattooing of Children.
The Department initiated an investigation in late May after receiving an anonymous tip alleging several students who attended Sparta Alternative Independent Learning School (SAILS) had received tattoos at an apartment in downtown Sparta. The Department was able to identify five minors between the ages of 16-17 that received tattoos from Tormoen and Turnmire. The minors paid between $5-$30 for a tattoo and did not have the permission of a parent. Tormoen was arrested on June 12th and later released from the Monroe County Jail. Turnmire has not been located and charges are being sought through the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office.
Tattooing of Children is a Class “D” forfeiture and has a penalty not to exceed $200.
Chief of Police