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Criminal charges filed Thursday accuse a La Crosse man of kidnapping a woman after he thwarted her attempts for help.

Shawn Stromberg


The victim called 911 from her cellphone at 9:11 p.m. Friday, when La Crosse dispatchers overheard Shawn Stromberg say, “Are you (expletive) serious? You just called 911,” according to the complaint filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

Officers tried calling her back repeatedly en route to Stromberg’s apartment at 919 Vine St. Officers heard her screaming to be let out of a car before the call was disconnected, the complaint stated.

Police could not find Stromberg, 46, or the woman at their apartments and began searching the area where her phone was last located. Both of their cell phones shut off at 12:31 a.m. Saturday.

Vernon County authorities stopped the woman’s car later that day in Viroqua. She told La Crosse police she called 911 the night before when Stromberg began shouting at her, then punched her in the face when he found that she had called 911, according to the complaint.

She was able to answer one return call from police using a hands-free feature in her car and shouted for help before Stromberg ended the call and punched her again, the complaint stated.

Stromberg refused to take her home or let her out of the car, taking her against her will to a motel in Viroqua, according to the complaint.

She told police Stromberg punched her five times and threatened to kill her.

He also called her 15 times from jail.

Prosecutors charged Stromberg with kidnapping, felony intimidation of a victim, false imprisonment, two counts of misdemeanor battery and four counts of felony bail jumping. He is jailed on a $25,000 cash bond.

At the time of the offense, Stromberg was on a signature bond issued in March after he threatened the same woman and refused to let her leave a car during an argument. He is charged in that case with false imprisonment, misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct, all as domestic abuse offenses.

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Police and courts reporter

Anne Jungen covers law enforcement and the criminal justice system in La Crosse County. She joined the Tribune reporting staff in December 2005. You can contact her directly at or 608-791-8224.

(4) comments


Apparently this incident makes the 2nd time he's done this w/this woman. She needs to move, change her phone number & quit getting in the car w/him.


Put this scum bag in prison for the rest of his miserable life. He looks dangerous.


How do you make 15 phone calls from jail?



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