A 58-year-old Tomah man was referred to the Monroe County District Attorney for allegedly choking an employee at O’Reilly Auto Parts Sept. 29.

Police were called to O’Reilly shortly before 10 a.m. on a report of disturbance caused by an upset customer identified as Jerry W. Keichinger. The employee told police that Keichinger called the store looking for account information, and the employee said he couldn’t find an account under Keichinger’s name. The employee said Keichinger hung up and arrived at the store a short time later.

The employee told police that an agitated Keichinger entered the store yelling and swearing as the employee continued to search for the account. The employee said he eventually asked Keichinger to leave the store, and Keichinger responded by grabbing him around the neck and “squeezing the life out of me.” The employee showed police red marks on his neck, one of which drew blood. He said Keichinger still had his hands around his neck as he called 911.

The report says the employee’s account was confirmed by two witnesses in the store. One of the witnesses said Keichinger lifted the employee off the ground and that the employee didn’t react in any physical manner toward Keichinger.

Keichinger left the store before police arrived but was pulled over a short time later. The report described Keichinger as “agitated” at the time of the stop. He told police the employee “came at him” in a threatening manner and that he extended his right arm in self-defense.

Keichinger was referred for strangulation/suffocation, battery and disorderly conduct.

In other Tomah Police Department news:

A 17-year-old juvenile and a 16-year-old juvenile were referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct and resisting an officer after a Sept. 27 incident at Tomah High School.

The 16-year-old is accused of engaging in a loud argument in the main office and resisting efforts by police to calm her down. The report said she attempted to leave the office at one point and that an officer to had restrain her with a bear hug.

The report says the 17-year-old came into the office and demanded to know what happened. She is accused of disobeying a police order to leave the office and continuing to yell after she was placed in handcuffs.

Daniel Wade Bell, 22, Warrens, was referred to the district attorney for operating after revocation/drunk driving-related. He was pulled over shortly after 12:30 p.m. Sept. 27 on South Superior Avenue after police recognized him from previous contacts.

Vernon Brennecka, 59, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for operating after revocation/drunk driving-related. He was pulled over shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sept. 27 on Cady Avenue after police ran Brennecka’s license plates and discovered he had a revoked driver’s license from another state.

Arturo Aguilar-Ayala, 37, Wilton, was referred to the district for third-offense operating without a license. He was pulled over shortly after 3 p.m. on Arthur Street after police ran a check of Aguilar-Ayala’s license plate.

Tyler Jacob King, 18, Wilton, was referred to the district attorney for marijuana possession after Sept. 30 traffic stop.

Police followed a vehicle operating suspiciously as it entered Casey’s General Store Parking lot. The report says a passenger got into the vehicle, which remained parked for a considerable period of time. Police determined that the driver had seen the squad car and was waiting for it to leave. The squad car was driven out of sight of the driver, who then exited the parking lot. Police pursued the vehicle, observed a defective registration lamp and initiated a traffic stop shortly after 10:30 p.m.

The report says King told police there was marijuana in the vehicle and directed police to a backpack that he said belonged to the driver. Police allegedly found a wooden box with a green, leafy substance and determined the marijuana belonged to King.

King was referred for possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.

Kenneth Dean Wilson, 34, Sparta, was referred to the district attorney for operating after suspension/drunk driving-related. He was pulled over after the report said he was zig-zagging through traffic on E. Clifton Street shortly after 11:30 a.m. Oct. 1.

Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at steve.rundio@lee.net.

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Tomah Journal editor

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

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