A Portage man is being held in Columbia County Jail on $700 cash bond accused of beating up a woman on a Wisconsin River sandbar Saturday afternoon.
Lance Mueller, 58, is charged with misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer along with three felony counts of bail jumping.
The incident began with Portage police officers being called to the Discount Liquor store on East Wisconsin Street just after 6 p.m Saturday where officers found a woman reporting she had been attacked by Mueller while with friends on the Wisconsin River sandbar nearby.
The woman, who according to court documents reportedly had an injury above her eye that was swelling and turning black and blue at the time, told officers that she had been invited by another woman to go out to the sandbar behind the Tamarack restaurant, where tents had been set up on the sand.
The woman who invited her, she said, had been in the water and getting loud, when she told the woman to stop yelling. During this exchange, she said that Mueller had come out of one of the tents and attacked her, punching her in the face and beating her head into the sand, she said, because Mueller thought she was hitting on his girlfriend, then stopping the attack when he realized she was not a man.
Police began looking for Mueller, finding a man walking on a nearby sidewalk who reportedly identified himself as Shawn Miller, later admitting to being Lance Mueller, in the process calling the sergeant a “P.I.G.,” which he explained to mean “People Impostering God.”
“There was a $1,000 cash bond, which was ordered on June 20, 2017, then reduced to a $350 cash bond on July 17 and posted on July 25,” District Attorney Jane Kohlwey said of Mueller’s earlier charges during the initial bond hearing Monday. ”It appears that lower cash bond is not sufficient to have the defendant follow bond conditions.”
“This seems to be a case where a misdemeanor infraction leads to a felony bail jumping charge,” defense attorney Ronald Benavides said. “I think in general Mr. Mueller is denying what is alleged here has even taken place.”
Mueller had been arrested on June 17 when Portage police responded to a domestic disturbance in which Mueller was found in violation of probation requirement of absolute sobriety. During the encounter, police reported Mueller telling them that he didn’t care and was getting off probation that month.
While he was being arrested, according to court documents, Mueller lunged at an officer while they were in the stairwell, causing the officer to suffer a wrist injury, and to be briefly taken off active duty.
“I don’t recall reducing his bond,” said Judge Alan White, “and now we have this situation where we have some serious allegations, and the court is going to impose $700 cash bond.”
If convicted, Mueller is facing a potential sentence of roughly 2 ½ years for the most recent charges and over 12 years for the prior case involving battery to and making threats to an officer. He is scheduled to appear for a probable cause hearing on Sept. 21.