A La Crosse man is in custody after he was caught on camera peeping in a woman’s windows in the 300 block of North 10th St. early Sunday and found nearby with bags of underwear, binoculars and a handgun inside his truck, according to police reports.
Police were called just after 1:45 a.m. when the 50-year-old woman reported a security camera showed a shirtless man, later identified as 45-year-old Paul Ruoff, approach her bedroom window, according to reports. The woman said she had installed the camera after seeing him acting strange and peeping in other windows. She said in June she was sitting outside her home when he approached her, naked, and asked what time it was.
Police stopped Ruoff’s truck nearby. He denied looking in windows and said he was just driving around checking on his rental properties, though he admitted not having any in the area.
Inside the truck, police found several bags of used men’s underwear and one pair of women’s panties as well as shorts and cutoffs and a wallet containing a 21-year-old man’s driver’s license. A semiautomatic handgun was also found in a cardboard box behind the seat. A pouch attached to a bicycle in the truck’s bed contained a pair of underwear and binoculars.
Ruoff said the underwear were rags for painting and that he used the gun for protection from coyotes while hunting. Police were unable to locate the owner of the wallet.
Police identified Ruoff as the man in the video, as well as in a video from July 28 when he approached the woman again to ask for the time.
Ruoff, of 3103 S. 26th St., was arrested on suspicion of stalking, invasion of privacy and disorderly conduct and was being held without bond pending an appearance in La Crosse County Circuit Court.