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Competency evaluation ordered for man accused of stealing vehicles at Valley View Mall

Competency evaluation ordered for man accused of stealing vehicles at Valley View Mall

Uneke Scarbrough


A La Crosse County judge ordered a competency evaluation for the man charged with attempting to steal two vehicles outside Valley View Mall in January.

Uneke R. Scarbrough, 27, La Crosse, was charged in January with two counts of attempting to steal a vehicle with force, theft of movable property, criminal damage to property, resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and misdemeanor bail jumping, all as a repeat offender.

Scarbrough pleaded not guilty to the charges in April, and has undergone an evaluation before, but his attorney Patricia O’Neil felt a current evaluation was needed before the case could proceed.

O’Neil said that previously, her client seemed competent enough to work with her on the case, but that recently, “he’s really decompensated in the jail.”

A competency evaluation was requested in January, after both Judge Scott Horne and District Attorney Time Gruenke grew concerned that he was not fit to represent himself.

According to the criminal complaint:

Scarbrough stole one woman’s cell phone outside of Valley View Mall, then walked toward a second woman and demanded her keys.

When she refused, he grabbed the keys and forcefully ripped them from the woman’s hand, and took off running toward her vehicle. But, the keychain broke in the process, leaving the keys behind.

He then tried to pull a driver out of an Onalaska transit van, but was thwarted by the man’s seat belt, according to the complaint. Officers then arrived and took him to the hospital for evaluation.

Scarbrough is also accused of resisting police, refusing to put his hands behind his back for the trip from the hospital to the jail, as well as throwing urine and feces at jail staff while in custody in January, and breaking two windows at the downtown La Crosse Catholic Charities Warming Center.


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