A man said he was so upset when he couldn't find his cellphone that he attacked the person he believed was responsible for taking it inside the downtown Waukesha bus station.
Brian M. Johnson of Milwaukee, and formerly from Chicago, was charged with aggravated battery-intended great bodily harm for striking a man with a wooden stake at the Waukesha Metro Transit Center, 212 E. St. Paul Ave., on March 27.
According to a criminal complaint, police responded to the Waukesha Metro Transit Center after a man reported his friend was bleeding from his head around 5:25 p.m. March 27.
According to the complaint, Johnson, 39, said he was at the bus terminal in Waukesha with three other guys drinking vodka. He said he had his cellphone and headphones on the charger in the bathroom when he stepped out to smoke. When he returned to the bathroom, they were gone.
The complaint said Johnson told officers that he was upset about the theft and wanted to "kill that guy" who was responsible.
Johnson said he grabbed the victim by the shoulders and punched him in the face with the stick in his left hand. He left the scene when he was told police were coming.
He said he was sorry he injured the victim and that he never intended to hurt anyone, according to the complaint.
At the hospital, the victim was bleeding so profusely he passed out. He received 13 staples to close an eight-centimeter wound. A physician's assistant told an officer that if the victim had not been transported to the hospital or received medical attention, the wound likely would have been fatal due to its severity as well as the significant blood loss.
After he was stabilized, the victim told police that while he was waiting for the bus with two of his friends, Johnson, who the victim said he didn't know, came up to them and asked if they had any money. After they told him "no," the victim said Johnson then accused one of them of stealing his cellphone. The victim told the man they didn't steal the phone, and Johnson at first walked away but returned about 30 minutes later.
Johnson, now visibly angry, started swinging the stick and struck the victim in the head, the complaint said.
Video surveillance showed the victim attempting to exit the interior corridor of the bus terminal at which point Johnson raised the wooden weapon and strike the victim in the head.
Johnson was later found in front of the Domino's Pizza on East North Street.
Johnson had a blood alcohol content level of 0.09, according to a preliminary breath test.
If convicted of the felony, Johnson, 830 N. 19th St., Milwaukee, faces up to 15 years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
He posted a $5,000 signature bond, set by Court Commissioner Laura Lau, on March 30. As part of his bail, Johnson is to have no contact with the victim or witness listed in the criminal complaint or the Waukesha Metro Transit Center. He is also not to possess any knives, weapons or firearms.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. April 29 at the Waukesha County Courthouse.