A La Crosse man with a history of domestic abuse was arrested after threatening and hurting a woman.
Ezekiel Smith, 21, was charged Friday with felony bail jumping-new crimes, disorderly conduct and misdemeanor battery, all with a domestic abuse enhancer.
Per the criminal complaint, police on May 12 responded to reports of a domestic incident at Pettibone Beach. When officers arrived Smith was gone, but the victim stated Smith approached the group of people she was with and tried pulling her away. The victim told officers Smith said, “I’m going to kill you.”
Smith “twisted (her) to the ground,” causing the victim to fall on the concrete parking lot, causing the victim a pain level of eight out of 10, the complaint reads.
Smith returned to the beach while officers were there, and Smith told them he had tried to give the victim a hug and she pulled away. Smith did not follow commands to leave the beach and began yelling at the victim. A crowd was present, per the report.
Officers eventually were able to arrest Smith, who has been arrested on several prior occasions for incidents with the same victim. An open case from February 2022 includes charges of strangulation, suffocation, battery and domestic abuse.
Assistant District Attorney Jessica Skemp asked for a cash bond and GPS monitoring given the number of previous attacks on the victim and fears for the victim’s safety.
Judge Scott Horne set a $500 cash bond with a no contact order and GPS monitoring with an exclusion zone, telling Smith the court has an “obligation to victims” to enforce no contact orders for “peace of mind” for the victim and to “secure their safety.”
From Tribune files: Life in the La Crosse area in the 1980s
Valley View Mall opened its doors at 9:30 a.m. July 31, 1980, in La Crosse.
Clerks Sue Anderson, left, and Cherryl Merfeld, demonstrate a new IBM 5260 computer system at Doerflinger's Department Store. The La Crosse store was one of the first retailers in the county to install such a system.
To read more about Doerflinger's, click here.
1980: Lutheran Hospital
Craig Spies helps his daughter Jody play with a train she received as a Christmas gift in this Dec. 25, 1980, photo. Jody was in Lutheran Hospital because she broke her leg while sliding.
Dayton's employee Sharon Hulse, left, assists Dave Trapp and his sons, Tom and Jon, chose a set of china for a Christmas gift. The store opened with Valley View Mall in 1980, became Marshall Field's in 2001, and was re-branded as Macy's in 2006. Macy's closed in 2016.
To read more about the early years of Valley View Mall, click here.
1982: Lorillard building
Patricia Poser, who worked for real estate developer Robert Stephan, stands inside a new North Side condo in this 1982 photo. The four-story brick building at 1501 Rose St. was built between 1916 and 1919 by Lorillard Tobacco Co. as a warehouse. Later, the building was used as storage by the La Crosse Garment Co. In 1982 it opened as Old North Port, a condominium and office development that still stands today.
1982: La Crosse Garment Co.
A firefighter signals for more water as a blaze badly damages a warehouse for The La Crosse Garment Co. on Jan. 14, 1982, at the corner of Eighth and Adams streets. Erected in 1887 for the Salzer Seed Co., this building no longer exists and its former site is now occupied by a one-story Salzer Square apartment building.
1982: Leithold Music
Longtime La Crosse radio DJ Lindy Shannon is shown here inside Leithold Music in 1981 after the downtown store announced it was closing its record department. The store, which was founded in 1888 and is located at 116 S. Fourth St., still sells and repairs instruments and offers music lessons.
1982: Drugan's Supper Club
Yodeler Aase Helst and 16 musicians from Andalsnes, Norway, perform to a packed Saturday night crowd in 1981 at Drugan’s Supper Club in Holmen. Kent and Donna Drugan started the business in 1970 after they bought and renovated the former Silver Dollar Saloon. In 1973, Kent and Donna bought the nine-hole Castle Mound golf course and immediately built a new supper club there. Another nine holes were added to the golf course in 1981, and today the operation is known as Drugan’s Castle Mound Golf & Supper Club.
Jean Gitz, co-owner of radio stations WLCX-AM and WLXR-FM, talks with WLXR afternoon disc jockey Joanie Smith in 1983. Gitz, along with Joseph Rohrer Jr. and Joseph Rohrer Sr., sold the radio stations that year to Ingstad Broadcasting of Grand Forks, N.D. WLCX was later renamed WLFN-AM. Both stations are owned today by the Onalaska-based La Crosse Radio Group.
1983: Showbiz Pizza Place
Kindergartners from Onalaska’s Irving Pertzsch Elementary School gather at Showbiz Pizza Place in Onalaska in 1983. The pizza chain opened just north of Valley View Mall in 1982 and was rebranded as Chuck E. Cheese in 1993. Although its neighboring movie theater was torn down to make room for Dick’s Sporting Goods in 2014, the kid-friendly restaurant remains.
1984: K&G Costumes
Ken Konzen and Louanne Greene, co-owners of K&G Costumes show off some of their popular Halloween costumes in 1984. The pair started the La Crosse business in 1984; it closed in 2000.
1984: Maple Leaf Parade
This scene from the Sept. 29, 1984, Maple Leaf Parade, taken at Rose and Clinton streets, features a float carrying Rhonda Bentley, the 1984 Miss La Crosse-Oktoberfest, and Bernhard “Bernie” Degen, the 1984 Oktoberfest Festmaster. Degen (1926-2012) was a pharmacist who co-founded the Degen-Berglund pharmacies in 1953 with Maynard Berglund. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1984: National Video Movie Rental
Marilyn Reinhard was manager of National Video and Movie Rental, which opened in June 1984 in the Village Shopping Center. When it opened, the store rented both VHS and Beta tapes, along with video cassette recorders.
1984: Hollywood Theater
Moviegoers attend a showing of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in 1984 at the Hollywood Theater in downtown La Crosse. The theater at 123 Fifth Ave S. closed in 2005 and after falling into disrepair, was purchased in 2012 by attorney and downtown developer Phil Addis, who plans to someday reopen it.
1984: Skifton's Department Store
Arnold Skifton walks up the stairs to the second floor of Skifton's Department Store in 1984. He started working at the Houston, Minn., store in 1931 as a floor sweeper and fire builder. Skifton and wife, Marie, and their friends Olaf and Ethel Mollerstad bought the store in 1937. The Skiftons became sole owners in 1949. After Maries death in October 2000, Skifton owned and operated the store single-handedly until he died in August 2003. The store closed in 2004, and the building is now home to the International Owl Center.
1985: Beer spill
A valve broke at the G. Heileman Brewery in 1986, causing beer to spill into a sewer line and bubble out a manhole cover at 900 S. Third St.
1985: Century Telephone
Operators work in the Century Telephone office at Fifth Avenue and Jay Street. The Louisiana-based company, now know as CenturyLink, purchased the La Crosse Telephone Corp. of Wisconsin in 1971. In 2000, the company, which has grown into the third largest telecommunications company in the nation, moved into a $25 million, seven-story building at 333 N. Front St. but continues to use the Fifth Avenue building.
1985: Ranch House Dinner Theater
Scott Manthe, left, and Renee Lieder starred in the 1985 Ranch House Dinner Theatre production of "Butterflies are Free." The Sparta performing arts venue was opened by Robert Irwin in 1984.
1987: Removal of the Doerflinger sign
A workman attends to the clock on the old Doerflinger sign shortly after it was lowered to the sidewalk at Fourth and Main streets during the sign’s removal Dec. 11, 1987. This large sign with its rotating two-faced clock was installed in January 1956 and became a landmark symbol for Doerflingers department store, which closed in 1984. A sign similar in design was installed at the same location for Duluth Trading Co. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
Emily Pyrek can be reached at