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Arrest warrant issued for La Crosse woman accused of strangling child

Arrest warrant issued for La Crosse woman accused of strangling child

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Connie Abraham Lehrke

Abraham Lehrke

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for a La Crosse woman accused of strangling a 13-year-old boy.

Prosecutors filed charges in La Crosse County Circuit Court against Connie Rae Abraham Lehrke, 52, Wednesday in connection with the Monday incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Abraham Lehrke began drinking around 1 p.m., then began a verbal argument with the boy about 6 p.m., yelling and swearing at him about the political issues after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which set off protests across the U.S. against police brutality and excessive force.

The boy told police Abraham Lehrke, who is white, mentioned buying a gun and wanting to kill African-American people who “pull this racist bull crap,” according to the complaint.

The argument wound down, but a few hours later, while the boy was getting ready to go to bed, Abraham Lehrke became upset again, the boy told police.

The boy said the woman punched him 10-12 times, leaving a white-ish outline in his vision, then grabbed him by the neck and throat, squeezing hard enough that he couldn’t breathe, according to the complaint. The boy said Abraham Lehrke placed a knee on his chest and neck, but he was able to squirm away and run to his older sister’s home.

Abraham Lehrke did not answer the door for police and investigators have not been able to speak to her about her side of the story.

Abraham Lehrke was charged with physical abuse of a child (intentionally causing bodily harm), strangulation and suffocation, misdemeanor battery, disorderly conduct and misdemeanor bail jumping.

At the time of the incident, Abraham Lehrke was out on a signature bond for misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct stemming from an April altercation with a neighbor.


Jourdan Vian can be reached at jvian@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @Jourdan_LCT.

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