A southeast Wisconsin man is facing serious charges in Price County after he's accused crashing his car into a ditch and threatening seven people, including five teenagers with a knife and loaded gun.
It happened on May 18 at home on Brantwood Avenue, about 25 miles southeast of Phillips, in the Town of Knox. According to the criminal complaint, deputies were paged to that location just after 10 p.m. for the report of an armed, intoxicated man.
Witnesses, ages 16 and 17, told officers they were camping during a church youth group trip when a man stumbled into their campsite, pointed a gun at them and demanded they get on their knees. That's when they say the man said his vehicle was stuck in the ditch they were going to help him get it out.
Witnesses say the they followed the man to the crash scene, but were unable to help him get the car out of the ditch. That's when one of the men said if they went back to the house they could get a truck and pull the car out the ditch. The man allowed four people to leave, and that's when a call was placed to 911.
No one was injured during the incident.
Officers located the man, later identified as Jesse Rutherford, 28, of Big Bend, Wis., sitting in the vehicle. Rutherford told deputies he pointed a gun at the men and boys because he thought they were having a “pow wow”.
Investigators says Rutherford's preliminary BAC content was .13. Due to a prior OWI conviction he cannot have a BAC over .02.
Rutherford said he had a fight with his wife and that's why he left their cabin. He was on his way back to the cabin when he drove in the ditch.
Rutherford is free on a $5,000 cash bond. He's expected to be formally charged on July 23. Authorities are recommending he be charged with 1st-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, False Imprisonment, Possession of Narcotic Drugs, Operate Firearm While Intoxicated, OWI (3rd), Disorderly Conduct, Possess Drug Paraphernalia, and Operating While Revoked.
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