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YMCA vandal turns self in; La Crosse man says he has no memory of incident

YMCA vandal turns self in; La Crosse man says he has no memory of incident

From the Year in review: Some of the biggest crime stories of 2019 in the La Crosse area series

A La Crosse man turned himself in Sunday after vandalizing the Dahl Family YMCA in La Crosse Friday morning.

Peyton D. Nett, 19, admitted that it was him in the video, but said he doesn’t remember going to the YMCA because he was intoxicated, according to the La Crosse Police Department.

Nett drank four to five rum and Cokes on Thursday night before going to the Twisted Moose with friends and drinking more, according to the police report. He blacked out and doesn’t remember anything after that, he said; however, surveillance cameras show him walking around downtown.

Surveillance video at the YMCA shows Nett at about 4:20 a.m. Friday walking through the lobby and tearing the computer monitors off the desk, then throwing each one. There was paint all over the floor, walls, desks, TV screens and computer monitors in the Primetime Center — an area for older children to do crafts and play games — and damage to furniture. Police also noted a clear footprint in the paint on the floor.

YMCA suspect

Surveillance video captured this image of the person who vandalized the Dahl Family YMCA in La Crosse early Friday.

The next morning, Nett, a student at UW-La Crosse, went to Fond du Lac to visit his family. Friday evening, a friend sent him a link to a news story about the break-in after recognizing Nett, according to the report.

At about 7:45 p.m. Friday, Nett’s mother called the La Crosse Police Department and told them the vandal was her son, and then handed the phone to Nett, who arranged to turn himself in when he was back in town Sunday.

Nett went to the La Crosse Police Department at 5:20 p.m. Sunday and told authorities it was him on the surveillance video. He was interviewed and then released on a signature bond.

Police referred charges of felony criminal damage to property and burglary to the La Crosse County District Attorney.

The facility, located at 1140 Main St., opened three hours late, at 8 a.m., as YMCA staff dealt with the break-in.

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


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