A 35-year-old man was charged Monday with armed robbery after he was arrested over the weekend for swinging and hitting an unsheltered person in Cameron Park with a club and stealing his jacket.
In addition to the felony charge of armed robbery, Christopher Benson, no known address, was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct, all as a repeat offender.
He was being held Monday in the La Crosse County Jail; a cash bond was set for $1,000.
The complaint states that on March 20 around 1 a.m., police responded to a call that a man was swinging a bat at individuals at the park. Upon arrival, officers identified Benson standing in the parking lot of Glory Days Bar with club in hand and wearing a winter jacket. When Benson noticed the officers, he fled north.
Police followed Benson to a parking lot in Downtown La Crosse, where he at first did not comply to instructions from officers, then began to approach one officer with the club. He was then tased, according to the complaint, causing him to fall forward onto the concrete. He was then apprehended after receiving medical attention.
Witness reports and camera footage of the area showed Benson knocking over a garbage can near Cameron Park before walking up to an individual who was sleeping in a sleeping bag, pulling on the bag and striking him two times with the club, then kicking him, before taking the man’s jacket.
The man told police that Benson, who was seen wearing jeans and a black T-shirt on the footage, demanded he give him his coat before hitting him with the club.
“Give me your coat or I’m going to beat you,” the man recalled Benson said to him, according to the complaint.
The man told police he did not want to press charges against Benson.
Benson will appear in court next Monday, March 29. The conditions of his bond include house arrest if released, no weapons and a no-contact with the victim.
La Crosse County Circuit Court felony cases in February
Erik C. Nedrelo, 32, Onalaska, was charged Feb. 20 with possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor bail jumping and possession of drug paraphernalia. Nedrelo had meth and a pipe at about 11:30 p.m. Feb. 1 when he was stopped for riding his bicycle without a light, according to the complaint.
Dameon L. Hendricks, 28, La Crosse, was charged Feb. 19 with attempting to flee an officer as a repeat offender. Hendricks drove away from police Feb. 3 instead of stopping for a traffic stop, then abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot, according to the complete.
Chandra M. Smith, 37, Black River Falls, was charged Feb. 18 with felony bail jumping, possession of methamphetamine, possession of narcotic drugs, possession of THC, possession of an illegally obtained prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia. Smith had meth, heroin, oxycodone and a vape pen with THC oil Feb. 10 when she was pulled over during a drug investigation, according to the complaint.
Lawrence M. Ramsey, 55, no permanent address, and Benjamin L. Arendt, 36, Sparta, were charged Feb. 11 with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia, both as parties to a crime. Ramsey and Arendt had 3.6 grams of meth in 10 small plastic bags and a digital scale in their vehicle Feb. 3 when they were pulled over for an excessive window tint on the North Side of La Crosse, according to the complaint.
Joel R. Davis, 39, Onalaska, was charged Feb. 10 with delivering methamphetamine. Davis sold 19 grams of meth to a confidential informant Oct. 17, 2018, for $400, according to the complaint.
James R. Dean
Justin J. Tillman
Darion C. Thomas
Paul J. Bunts, 35, of Woodman, was charged Feb. 6 with possession of methamphetamine. On Jan. 26, Bunts told police that he had lost $400 in an armed robbery near Farmington. After talking with Bunts, officers began to doubt his story. Bunts eventually admitted that he had used the $400 to buy methamphetamine, and that he called police because he suspected the drugs were fake. The drugs were real, according to the criminal complaint.
The following people have been charged with a felony in La Crosse County.
The building at 333 Vine St. is a criminal justice hub. The La Crosse County Courthouse and Law Enforcement Center, which opened in 1997 with …
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