On June 7, 2014 at approximately 8:00 p.m. officers responded to a reported disturbance in the 200 block of Franklin St. The caller reported hearing shouts of “why did you hit me”. When officers arrived they were directed to apartment #4 where they spoke with one of the residents and were allowed inside. The officers were able to determine some sort of altercation took place between Lance Root, 47 from Sparta, and Marla Niemann, 45 from Sparta that triggered the call to police. Niemann had been drinking which violated her probation and was taken into custody at the request of the Department of Corrections. Another resident, Ryan Coole, 21 from Sparta, was found inside and he too had been drinking in violation of his probation and was taken into custody at the request of the Department of Corrections. The case was sent to the Monroe County District Attorney for review.
On June 8, 2014 around 1:30 a.m., a Sparta officer on patrol was advised by dispatch that a Monroe County Sheriff's Deputy had observed Derek D. Crocker, 28 of Sparta, outside of the Hangout tavern. Crocker was known to have a Monroe County Warrant and was featured on the Monroe County Sheriff's Department's Mugshot Monday. Upon arrival, the officer observed Crocker, whom he was familiar with through prior contacts standing outside of the Hangout. While walking towards the Hangout, the officer observed Crocker walk inside of the Hangout and contact was made with him in the rear of the tavern. Crocker was arrested for the warrant and transported to the Monroe County Jail.
On June 6, 2014 at approximately 8:15 p.m., a Sparta officer on patrol observed Cody D. Nelson, 26 of Sparta, whom he knew through previous contacts, driving westbound on Wisconsin St. The officer checked with dispatch and was advised that Nelson had a 7:00 p.m. curfew on his bonds. A traffic stop was initiated on the vehicle after it turned onto Industrial Dr. and Nelson produced a Wisconsin DL confirming his identity. Nelson advised the officer that he had gotten off of work at 7:00 p.m. and was waiting for his passenger, verbally identified as Brittany J. Foster, 29 of Sparta, and was currently on his way home. Nelson was subsequently arrested for two counts of felony Bail Jumping and placed on a Probation Hold. Nelson was transported to the Monroe County Jail and released to Jail staff without incident.
On Saturday, June 07, 2014, at approximately 2:40 p.m. the City of Sparta Police Department responded to EZ Money Payday Loans, 530 Black River Street S. for an armed robbery. A masked male suspect approached the cashier that was working and demanded money. The suspect did display a handgun to the employee during the robbery.
As an Officer arrived on scene the suspect fled on foot out the back door with an undisclosed amount of cash. After a short foot pursuit with officers the suspect was taken into custody. Jacob Elliott, 25 from Camp Douglas, was arrested and taken to the Monroe County Jail where he remains in custody and scheduled to appear in Monroe County Circuit Court on Monday, June 9, 2014.
The robbery remains under investigation and anyone with information is encouraged to call the Sparta Police Department at 608-269-3122, or Monroe County Crime Stoppers at 608-269-STOP.
On June 1, 2014 at approximately 12:28 a.m., Sparta officers responded to a disturbance at Lynda Lou's Tavern, 214 S. Water St. They were given information that a male subject had gotten rough with customers and the owner had asked him to leave. When the owner had asked him to leave, the male subject, later identified as Michael J. Kass (no relation to Chief Kass), 43 of Sparta, broke the window of the bar and left the scene. Officers then observed a blood trail going northbound on Water St. leading away from the bar and were told by two pedestrians that they saw the man whom the blood trail belonged to entering the hospital. Kass was later located at the Sparta Mayo Emergency Room and did advised officers that he had punched the window out. Kass was issued a citation for Criminal Damage to Property.
On June 4, 2014 at approximately 5:34 a.m., Sparta officers were advised of a male subject attempting to make entry into a residence at 722 W. Montgomery St. Upon arrival, contact was made with the suspect, Christopher D. Lyons, 24 of Sparta, and the complainant. Lyons was found to be heavily intoxicated and had attempted to enter the residence but was not able to provide any reason for why he attempted to make entry into the residence. When officers asked questions about what had happened or why he was there, Lyons laughed and was not able to provide any other information. Lyons submitted to a PBT which resulted in a .275. Lyons was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and transported to the Monroe County Jail without incident.
On June 2, 2014 at approximately 1:17 a.m., a Sparta officer on patrol observed a vehicle which drove onto the center median by Club 16. The officer followed the vehicle and observed the it deviating in its lane and crossing the center line. The officer initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle as it pulled into a parking stall in front of a business. The driver was then observed opening the door and getting out of the vehicle. The officer could detect a strong odor of intoxicants and asked the driver if he was having problems driving. The driver, later identified by his Wisconsin DL as John E. Tatzel, 37 of Sparta, advised the officer he did not have any problems driving. He advised the officer he had about 4 beers, but later stated he had 5 beers, when asked if he had been drinking that night. Tatzel was put through field sobriety tests and given a PBT which resulted in a .228. Dispatch advised the officer that Tatzel also had a warrant for his arrest through Monroe County. Tazel was warned for Operating Left of Center and Unsafe Lane Deviation. He was arrested on the warrant and Operating while Intoxicated-3rd Offense. He was transported to the Monroe County Jail without incident.
On May 30, 2014 at approximately 3:20 p.m. the Department received a traffic complaint alleging a driver failed to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk which caused the pedestrian to jump out of the way to avoid being struck. The caller described the vehicle and an officer located it a short time later being driven on Pearl Street. The vehicle was stopped and driver identified as Nicholas J. Johnson, 21 from Sparta. Johnson commented that he remembered seeing a crossing guard and the officer noted signs of impairment along with the strong odor of marijuana. Johnson admitted to smoking marijuana around 2:00 p.m. and having a bag of it inside his pocket. A subsequent search of vehicle turned up several more bags of marijuana and cash that is consistent with someone who is distributing the illegal substance. Johnson was arrested for Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Deliver and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Johnson was also cited for Failure to Yield to a Pedestrian and Having Open Intoxicants in a Motor Vehicle.
On May 30, 2014 at approximately 9:15 p.m. officers were called to an address on Jefferson Ave to investigate the death of dog. The investigation resulted in the arrest of Patrick Fleming, 46 from Port Clinton, OH, for Mistreatment of Animals. Fleming had come to Sparta to visit family and had only been in the City for 2-3 hours before the incident took place. A 7 week old puppy was being kenneled inside the home where Fleming was staying and when the dog’s owner returned from a short shopping trip the puppy couldn’t be located. Fleming was seen in the garage area and when the resident entered the garage they saw him throw something that appeared to be the puppy in the corner. The puppy was found deceased and police were notified. Based on the investigation Fleming was arrested and taken to the Monroe County Jail. He is expected to appear in court on Monday, June 2, 2014. The incident remains under investigation with the assistance of the Monroe County Humane Officer.
On May 27, 2014 at approximately 5:00 p.m. officers were called to Evans Bosshard Park after a dog had jumped on a young child. A 14 year old Sparta youth brought a dog to the park and tied it up near one of the bridges while several friends went swimming. While the dog was unattended it bit a 3 year child from Sparta who was also in the park. The child required medical treatment for her injuries. The investigating officer identified the dog’s owner as Elizabeth Parker, 30 from Sparta. Parker was cited for having an unlicensed dog and a quarantine was ordered after it was discovered the animal was not up to date on vaccinations.
On Friday May 30, 2014 the Sparta Police Department responded to a report of an intoxicated male who was threatening to load his guns and kill people, including any responding police officers. Phillip Smith, 33, of Sparta was taken into custody and booked into the Monroe County Jail.
After gathering information on scene and talking to family members, the Monroe County Combined Tactical Unit (CTU) was called out. Smith was known to be in possession of several firearms and a responding CTU officer observed him pointing a rifle out the window.
Smith refused to communicate with officers. Police eventually deployed noise flash diversionary devices (flashbangs) and chemical munitions into the residence. Smith walked outside but refused to cooperate and less lethal bean bag rounds were used. He was taken into custody and medically cleared at a local hospital.
Smith was booked into the Monroe County Jail for disorderly conduct-domestic abuse related, intentionally pointing a firearm at another person, Operating a firearm while intoxicated, resisting arrest, and failure to comply with an officers attempt to take a person into custody.
Jason Pipkin, Sergeant
On May 28, 2014 at approximately 7:45 a.m. officers received a tip that Stacey Otten, 42 from Sparta, was wanted on warrant and currently at an address on “K” Street. Officers verified that Monroe County had an outstanding Commitment Order for Non-Payment of Fine/Forfeiture on Otten that had been issued in December 2013. Otten was located at the address the tipster provided and taken into custody without further incident.
On May 24, 2014 at approximately 9:10 a.m. officers were informed that a patient at the hospital was being seen for dog bite. Officers met with the victim who said she had been walking near the corner of Condit Street at Chester Street when a dog tied to tree ran up and bit her on the arm. Officers identified the dog’s owner as Leslie Keller, 32 from Sparta, and learned that the dog was not licensed nor was it current on its rabies vaccination. The officer ordered that the dog be quarantined in accordance with state law and cited Keller for Dog Attacking Person and Unlicensed Dog.
On May 29, 2014 at approximately 10:56 p.m., Sparta officers received an anonymous call reporting that James Rivas, 26 of Sparta, was currently residing at 115 N. Black River St. Rivas, who was a subject featured on Sparta Police Department's "Wanted Wednesday" was located at that address. Officers saw a male subject through the front door window and recognized him as Rivas from the "Wanted Wednesday" poster that was posted at the police department. Officers knocked on the door and a female individual opened the door and gave officers permission to enter the residence. Rivas was identified with his Wisconsin ID card and arrested for his Department of Corrections warrant. He was transported to the Monroe County Jail without incident.
On May 25, 2014 at approximately 3:50 p.m. officers responded to a traffic crash at the intersection of Black River Street at Saint Anne Street. Anthony Cooper, 64 from Tomah, was stopped on Black River Street for a pedestrian that was crossing the roadway when he was struck from behind by a vehicle driven by a 17 year old male from Sparta. The 17 year old claimed he did not see the vehicle ahead of him stop and was probably looking off to his left. The investigating officer could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the 17 year olds car and found a small amount of it concealed in the center console. The 17 year old was cited for Inattentive Driving, Violating GDL Restrictions (too many passengers), Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.