A retired Milwaukee Police detective was arrested in the town of Lyndon for domestic violence after allegedly hitting and choking a woman to the point she passed out, followed by resisting arrest in a more than three-hour standoff which led police to use CS gas, forcing him from a residence.
Kevin Klemstein, 48, of New Berlin is charged with felony intimidation of a victim, domestic abuse; felony strangulation and suffocation, domestic abuse; felony false imprisonment, domestic abuse; and misdemeanor battery, domestic abuse; misdemeanor resisting an officer; and misdemeanor disorderly conduct, domestic abuse.
If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $25,000, or both, for the intimidation of a victim charge; up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for the strangulation and suffocation charge; and up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for the false imprisonment charge.
Klemstein retired from the Milwaukee Police Department as a detective in 2017 after 25 years as an officer. He received an award in 2012 for his part in a wiretap investigation which led to the arrest of 17 people, including a local gang leader of the Menace of Destruction gang in St. Paul, Minnesota and Milwaukee.
According to the criminal complaint detailing the events leading to his arrest, officers in Juneau County responded to a residence in the River Bay Campground in the town of Lyndon for a report of a domestic disturbance at 1:16 a.m. Sept. 22.
The reporting party claimed Klemstein had hit her in the face. On three separate occasions the phone call with the reporting party ended, leading dispatch to attempt to call her back. On one of the calls the victim stated Klemstein had taken her phone.
Dispatch told the victim to leave the residence and walk to the road, which the victim did, but also stated Klemstein followed her.
Deputy Jarrett Taylor, Deputy Rebecca Weber and State Trooper Allan Platt arrived at the campground and attempted to locate the victim and Klemstein. Taylor located the victim, who directed the officers to the residence.
Upon arrival at the residence, the officers saw Klemstein inside. When ordered to come out of the residence Klemstein did not comply, instead entering a back room and closing the door. Multiple attempts to order Klemstein out of the residence had no success.
Eventually Klemstein came to the front door, which was all glass, with his dog. Weber had her department issued long rifle, which she pointed at Klemstein, and ordered him outside, but Klemstein did not comply. Upon being ordered to come outside a second time, Klemstein locked the door.
Klemstein went to a window where he talked with Weber, stating he would not come outside. Klemstein allegedly said something along the lines of “if I did anything wrong it was just a misdemeanor.” He then stopped talking with Weber, turned off all the lights, locked the inner sliding door and closed the blinds on the door.
The time of contact with Weber was about 2:05 a.m. Contact was not reestablished until 5:09 a.m. when Lieutenant Tony Heiss arrived on scene and began giving verbal commands over the PA system of a squad car.
Klemstein lifted the blinds, opened the window and told the officers he was trying to go to bed, and they should leave because nothing happened. Heiss told Klemstein if he did not come outside they would deploy CS gas, a form of tear gas commonly used by law enforcement, inside the residence. Klemstein did not comply, shutting the window and blinds before coming back. Heiss repeatedly told Klemstein he was under arrest for felony charges and he needed to exit the residence.
After Klemstein continued to ignore commands, including closing the blinds and windows again, Brown deployed two rounds of CS gas into the residence. About one minute later Klemstein came outside, where he was taken into custody.
In an interview with the victim, she stated she was “99.9% sure” Klemstein strangled or choked her, but was having a hard time remembering what happened because she passed out. Weber observed blood over the front of her sweatshirt, phone and face. The victim appeared to have a cut on her chin that was still bleeding.
According to the victim, she came back to the residence at about 1 a.m. after hanging out with girlfriends. Once inside Klemstein began verbally abusing her, and after about 10 minutes he began to physically abuse her. Klemstein allegedly pushed, hit and choked her.
When she tried to walk away Klemstein would follow her through the residence. When she attempted to call 911 Klemstein pushed away her phone. If she tried to answer or call back Klemstein would “smash the phone out of her hands.” She stated she attempted to leave the residence multiple times, but Klemstein blocked her from leaving.
Klemstein signed a $5,000 signature bond on Sept. 24. He is scheduled for an initial appearance Dec. 9 at the Juneau County Justice Center.
Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.