A 21-year-old Tomah man was referred to the Monroe County District Attorney for threatening a police officer after a Jan. 27 incident in downtown Tomah.

Shortly after 2 a.m., police observed a man and woman pushing each other on the sidewalk outside a bar. The man, identified as Austin James Pickett, took off his motorcycle club “cut” or vest and put it in his truck. The report says the officer knew from prior experience that club members don’t want to enter jail with the vest, and the officer interpreted Pickett’s action that he anticipated being arrested.

When police asked Pickett to identify himself, he reportedly replied, “My name is not Austin.” When asked for his ID, the report said Pickett replied he didn’t carry one due to his “religious view.” He also reportedly told the officer he was “play fighting” with the woman. The woman told police she was trying to keep an intoxicated Pickett from driving. The report says Pickett told police he was “deathly afraid” of law enforcement.

Police told Pickett he was free to leave, but the report said he initiated an argument with officers, claiming the squad car’s emergency lights were giving him seizures. He then demanded that the woman be arrested, walked in front of the squad car and began screaming profanities, according to the report. At that point, police arrested Pickett for disorderly conduct.

The report says Pickett resisted being handcuffed and that an officer took him to the ground and delivered two closed fist strikes to the back to gain compliance. Pickett reportedly continued to struggle and strike his head against the pavement before police were finally able to apply the handcuffs.

After he was handcuffed, Pickett allegedly accused the officer of choking him and threatened the officer with violence. The report says Pickett was transported to Tomah Memorial Hospital, where he allegedly continued his combative behavior and made another threat against an officer. One officer reported several small scrapes on his hands sustained while attempting to subdue Pickett.

Pickett was referred for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and threatening an officer.

In other Tomah Police Department news:

Jennifer Lee Steep, 27, Necedah, was referred to the district attorney for second-offense drunk driving after a Dec. 23 traffic stop.

Police pulled over a Chevy Trailblazer driven by Steep shortly after 2 a.m., when Steep reportedly signaled to turn the wrong way onto Milwaukee Street. She eventually made a correct left turn toward McLean Avenue, where police noticed a defective license plate lamp and brake lamp. The vehicle headed north on McLean and then east on La Crosse Street, where police initiated the stop.

The report says Steep acknowledged she had a suspended driver’s license. She reportedly told police she had consumed “a little bit” of alcohol, but the report says Steep’s speech was slurred and slow. Dispatch informed police that Steep had a .02 blood-alcohol restriction for driving and was required to install an ignition interlock device.

After a field sobriety test, Steep submitted to a preliminary breath test, which registered a blood-alcohol level of .091, higher than the legal limit of .08. In addition to drunk driving, she was referred for operating after revocation/drunk driving-related, third-offense operating with a prohibited blood-alcohol level and failure to install an ignition interlock device.

David Albert Beyer, 61, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for bail jumping. He is accused of violating a bond condition that prohibits him from consuming alcohol. A preliminary breath test registered a blood-alcohol level of .246.


Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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