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Mauston man claiming to have COVID-19 charged with felony after allegedly spitting at police
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Mauston man claiming to have COVID-19 charged with felony after allegedly spitting at police

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A Mauston man is facing numerous charges after allegedly claiming to have COVID-19 and spitting at officers attempting to arrest him.

Kyle Burch, 25, of Mauston is charged with felony discharge of bodily fluids at a public safety worker, repeater; and misdemeanors resisting an officer, repeater; criminal damage to property, repeater; and disorderly conduct, repeater.

If convicted of the felony charge he faces up to three years and six months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both. As Burch has previously been convicted of three misdemeanor offenses in the five-year period prior to this arrest, he faces up to an additional two years in prison for each charge due to the repeater modification.

According to the criminal complaint:

At about 12:58 p.m. March 25, Officer Brian Raabe and several other officers of the Mauston Police Department and the Juneau County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to North Union Street for a report of a male subject breaking windows and causing a disturbance.

Upon arrival, Raabe did not observe the individual, though a witness stated the male, later identified as Kyle Burch, had run away. Raabe asked the witness if Burch was wearing a black jacket, as there was an individual behind the residence with a black jacket on, to which the witness replied “maybe.”

The officers surround the alleyway after making visual contact with Burch. As Burch attempted to run away he fell down. Deputy Pfaff drew an electric control device and pointed it at Burch. Raabe parked his vehicle and approached Burch and Pfaff, with Pfaff directing orders at Burch and the suspect “yelling and swearing loudly.”

After being ordered to the ground, Burch began yelling expletives at the officers. According to the complaint, officers “decentralized” Burch and applied a “thumb index, a trained technique, to the nerve bundle behind” Burch’s ear. Three officers then assisted a fourth officer as they handcuffed Burch, while Burch continued to yell, scream and swear at the officers.

While taking Burch towards the patrol unit, the officers stated Burch was belligerent. According to the officers, Burch attempted to pull away as they reached the vehicle, and tried to strike an officer. Burch was “decentralized” again by Raabe, who placed his body over Burch’s to control his movements while on the ground.

Raabe stated Burch continued to scream, say profanity directed at the officers, and spit at the officers while yelling. After ordering Burch to stop resisting twice, officers applied a spit hood and leg shackles to Burch.

Burch was secured in the back of the patrol unit and transported to jail while continuing to yell and swear loudly at Raabe. Once at the jail, Burch told Raabe “I have COVID-19” and begun to cough. He then allegedly repeated “I have COVID-19… does it look like I give a (expletive).” Burch was then handed over to jail staff.

Burch was scheduled for an initial appearance June 3 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.

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