A 35-year-old Sparta man was referred to the Monroe County District Attorney after a July 7 incident in the town of Sparta. Joseph J. Abbott was referred for battery and disorderly conduct.

Police were a called to an Iberia Avenue residence at 1:30 a.m. after a witness reported that Abbott was choking a woman. While responding to the scene, police were informed that Abbott had left the residence. Police found Abbott a short time later near the edge of a road standing next to a tree. He was smoking a cigarette and holding an empty can of Twisted Tea.

Abbott told police he and the woman got into an argument over the use of an automobile before he called a cab to diffuse the situation.

The woman told police she was asleep when Abbott came home looking for cigarettes and her phone. She said she placed the phone under her pillow before Abbott reached under the pillow and took it. She said Abbott then choked her for about five seconds.

The report said there were two faint marks on the woman’s neck and that she told police her breathing was never restricted during the choke hold. A witness told police she heard Abbott threaten to break the phone.

In other Monroe County Sheriff’s Office news:

Derek J. Gratz, 28, Hillsboro, was referred to the district attorney for bail jumping. He is accused of violating a bond condition that requires him to notify authorities when he changes his address.

Logan J. Tormoen, 29, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for bail jumping and violating an injunction. The injunction involves a 14-year-girl he is prohibited from contacting.

Laurelei L. Ryan, 60, was referred to the district attorney for multiple charges after allegedly driving away from a La Crosse residence in another person’s vehicle.

A man told police that Ryan took his white Hyundai Elantra without his consent June 30 and drove to Black River Falls. He got a ride to Black River Falls, where he saw Ryan driving the vehicle. He said he cut off Ryan and forced her to stop. She stepped out of the vehicle and took five steps toward him before returning to the vehicle and driving away at a high rate of speed. He then reported the vehicle stolen to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

The man told police that he received a call from a friend that he was going to meet Ryan at a Kwik Trip in Sparta and that the Hyundai was already there. Police responded to Kwik Trip and were a told a woman matching Ryan’s description entered a locked stall in the women’s restroom and remained there for a significant period of time. Police entered the restroom and placed Ryan under arrest.

During a search of Ryan’s purse at the Monroe County Jail, police allegedly found a one-hitter marijuana pipe that still had a strong odor of the drug.

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Ryan was referred for operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jessica Lyn Bernau, 36, Westby, was referred to the district attorney for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia after a June 24 traffic stop in the town of Little Falls.

Police observed a northbound vehicle on Hwy. 27 without a visible license plate shortly after 12:30 a.m. and conducted a traffic stop. The report says there were numerous air fresheners in the vehicle and an “abundant odor” of recently sprayed cologne. The driver told police he had tried to attach the license plates but couldn’t get the screws to fit. The driver denied consent to search the vehicle.

Police summoned a K9 to conduct an exterior search of the vehicle. Prior to the K9 deployment, Bernau, a passenger in the vehicle, told police she might have a needle containing methamphetamine in her purse. She admitted to using methamphetamine that morning, according to the report. Police found the needle and a baggie containing a substance suspected to be methamphetamine.

The report says a search of the trunk found a folded sheet of paper that contained brownish crystalline substance. Bernau said the substance was methamphetamine residue that could be reused after being scraped from a smoking device.

Jason M. Fowler, 40, Tomah, was referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct. A woman told police that Fowler cursed during an argument at a town of Oakdale residence and slammed an open refrigerator door against her knee.

A 17-year-old juvenile was referred to the district attorney for disorderly conduct, felony criminal damage to property, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia after a July 2 incident in the town of Oakdale.

According to the report, the enraged juvenile broke 16 fishing poles, an ice auger and several wall mounts. He also kicked the side door of a pickup truck. The juvenile reportedly admitted to the damage and said the victims deserved it.

After told he was going to be searched, the juvenile admitted that he had marijuana in his shirt pocket. Police also located a vaping device with marijuana.

Tyrel Jason Boyd, 36, 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 recorded a blood-alcohol level of .269.

Douglas Lloyd Hopp, 71, Sparta, was referred to the district attorney for endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon. He is accused of firing a target practice round that struck a vehicle traveling a private dirt road in the town of Leon May 26.

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


Tomah Journal editor

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

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