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Onalaska man accused of stabbing man seven times

Onalaska man accused of stabbing man seven times

James Dan Gallagher

James Dan Gallagher

An Onalaska man was charged with aggravated battery by use of a dangerous weapon and accused of stabbing a man seven times at an Onalaska motel shortly after midnight Friday.

James Dan Gallagher, 56, was seen slashing tires in the parking lot of Stoney Creek Inn, according to the criminal complaint. Gallagher attempted to flee the area and reached a fenced area where he was confronted by one of the pursuers.

There was a struggle, and the two ended up on the Hwy. 16 median, where several other people were able to control Gallagher until police arrived.

During the scuffle, the victim suffered seven stab wounds — one to the abdomen, one to the left side of his torso, one to the hip, one to the left outer thigh, two to the left side of his back and one to his left buttock.

All wounds were approximately a half-inch, which the victim said caused him considerable discomfort. He also suffered an abrasion to his right knee. He was transported by ambulance to Gundersen Health.

Gallagher sustained two small wounds to his forehead, two cuts to his left hand, one cut on the back of his left thumb and a cut to his left palm. He also had abrasions on his elbow and knee.

A knife was recovered at the scene. There was blood residue on the knife, along with blood on Gallagher’s shoes and gloves. He declined to answer police questions, and the complaint says Gallagher’s motivation to damage the vehicles remains unknown.

Gallagher was also charged with misdemeanor criminal damage to property. He appeared in La Crosse County Circuit Court Friday via Zoom from the La Crosse County Jail. Judge Ramona Gonzales ordered Gallagher held on a $10,000 cash bond.

Steve Rundio can be reached at


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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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