Here's a roundup of crime reported in the Kenosha News July 2, 2019.
Kenosha County sees uptick in underage tobacco sales
An uptick in the number of retailers in Kenosha County selling tobacco products illegally to minors has spurred concerns by an anti-tobacco group.
According to the Kenosha Racine Walworth Tobacco Coalition, six retailers in Kenosha County sold tobacco to undercover minors during random compliance checks of 34 tobacco-licensed businesses over the last few months.
Last year, no retailers sold to underage minors during the checks.
Michelle Sandberg, coordinator for KRW Tobacco-Free Coalition, attributed the rise in sales to carelessness.
She said that at each location, with one exception, clerks asked youths for their identification.
“Youth IDs clearly state the ‘under 18 until’ date as well as the ‘under 21 until’ date ... so no math or calculations are required. Unfortunately, it seems the clerks just didn’t take the time to actually read the ID,” Sandberg said. “Some locations have electronic scanners that ‘read’ the IDs for the clerk, making it very easy to stop the transaction.”
At one location, she said, the clerk even overrode the system, selling the product to the youth “despite the system trying to stop the sale.”
She said the six locations that did sell to youth were established businesses that have been in operation for quite some time.
“I’ve reached out to all locations that made sales to youth and provided additional resources and training to help ensure compliance,” Sandberg said.
Consequences for businesses that sell to minors include fines of up to $500, according to the Wisconsin Wins website. If a citation is issued to the retailer, it may also be issued to the clerk.
Illegal sales can also result in the business’ license being suspended anywhere from three days to a month, depending of the number of violations.
“We encourage all clerks selling tobacco to consistently card anyone who looks under the age of 27 and to refuse the sale of tobacco product without proper verification of age,” she said. “I’m hopeful we can get back on track and have zero sales during the next round of checks.”
Information sent to retailers
During the latest round of checks, 50 retailers in the county were sent packets of information, including all the locations that had been inspected.
The packets contained an information card from the state informing the store manager of the “hassle-free” employee training available online at www.WITobaccoCheck.org, as well as a message about the upcoming tobacco checks.
Sandberg said the exact date of the compliance check isn’t provided, only that it will be made soon. She also gives the retailers contact information so they can call her if they have questions.
“Of all the mailers, only one retailer did contact me to ensure her location had all employees properly trained. Not surprisingly, that store did not sell to our youth investigators,” she said.
Sandberg said the Federal Drug Administration is announcing the availability of a digital age verification calendar as part of the “This is Our Watch” voluntary retailer education program. The digital calendar is currently being mailed to retailers in the U.S.
The voluntary program provides free materials to help retailers understand how to comply with tobacco regulations. The materials also emphasize the retailer’s role in protecting the nation’s youth from the harms of tobacco use, she said.
Different time frame
While last year’s compliance checks took place over the calendar year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, Wisconsin Wins shifted its cycle going forward to July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 for funding purposes.
As a result, the local program released data for the compliance checks for the half year.
“Because the time frame was shortened by half, the percentage of checks was also reduced by half,” she said.
During the upcoming full contract period (July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020), Kenosha County will have 104 tobacco checks. The number of tobacco checks conducted is based on a percentage of the total tobacco retail licenses issued by the county.
Chicago police report violent crime dropped in first half of year
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Police city was less violent in the first six months of 2019 than during the same period each of the previous three years.
On Monday, the department said there have been 236 homicides so far this year. That's 21 fewer than the same period last year and 97 fewer than the first six months of 2017. The number of shooting incidents fell below the 1,000 mark for the first time for the period in the last four years. The department also says the numbers of robberies and burglaries are the lowest they've been in two decades.
Chicago still records far more homicides than New York or Los Angeles, but the department hopes that the hiring of 1,000 new officers in recent years and the expansion of high-tech crime fighting tools such as gunshot detection technology will bring down the numbers more.
Bond set at $5 million for suspect in Racine officer's slaying
RACINE — Bond was set at $5 million Monday for the Milwaukee man accused of killing Racine Police Officer John Hetland.
Dalquavis Ward, 26, is charged with three felonies — first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon, armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a felon. On the homicide charge, Ward faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Ward’s next court appearance is a preliminary hearing July 17 in Racine.
As of Monday, Ward was on a federal hold after his bond was revoked in a federal case stemming from an armed robbery of Colonial Liquors, 2813 Taylor Ave., in December 2014.
Hetland was shot June 17 trying to stop a robbery at Teezer’s Bar and Grill, 1936 Lathrop Ave. The incident led to a massive manhunt for a suspect, who was shown in surveillance video with everything covered but his eyes.
The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department headed the investigation, and said DNA evidence pointed to Ward.
According to a criminal complaint, during the autopsy of Racine Police officer John Hetland, evidence was taken and sent to the Wisconsin State Crime Lab.
The evidence included the shirt Hetland was wearing, fingernail clippings and swabs of Hetland’s hands, forearms, neck, face and back, as well as well as swabs taken from the rear door of Teezer’s.
On Thursday, results from the tests all reportedly came back as a match to Ward, whose last known address is in Milwaukee.
According to the criminal complaint, Ward reportedly tried to enter the back of the bar through a private door. He then approached two patrons seated at a picnic table, displayed a handgun and asked if they had a key to the door.
One of the patrons reportedly pointed toward an unlocked door, and Ward went through it.
Bar surveillance video shows the suspect entering the bar at approximately 9:38 p.m., brandishing a gun and demanding that the bartender give him all the money in the cash register.
The bartender complied.
Hetland, who was off duty at the time, is seen on the video sitting on the south side of the bar. While the suspect is distracted getting the money from the register, Hetland is seen climbing over the bar and wrestling with the suspect for approximately 14 seconds.
The suspect pushes Hetland back about 2 to 3 feet and fires a handgun at Hetland’s chest. The suspect then runs out of the bar through a kitchen exit with money in hand.
Police continue to pursue leads in teen's fatal shooting
Pleasant Prairie’s police chief said Monday he remains confident the department will find the person responsible for the shooting death of a Pleasant Prairie teenager outside a restaurant in May.
Police Chief David Smetana said investigators are continuing to ask the public for information that could help lead to an arrest.
“There have been some leads coming in, but I still think there are people out there that have a great deal more information than has been shared with either Crime Stoppers or law enforcement,” Smetana said. “We don’t leave any tip just sitting out there; we’re checking on every single one of them.”
Khaled Alchaar, 19, died May 20 after he was found shot outside Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, 10366 77th St.
Alchaar had called his brother after the shooting, saying he had been wounded. His brother called 911 and rushed to the restaurant, finding Alchaar in the parking lot. The teen died after being taken to a nearby hospital.
“This case is a high priority for our agency, and I’m confident when it all shakes out that we will be able to make an arrest,” Smetana said. “We are in very close contact with a representative of Khaled’s family and keeping them advised.”
He said the department is receiving help from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations in analyzing electronic evidence.
“We’re working on numerous points of social media and cellphone records,” he said.
Smetana said the department has been required by social media companies to obtain search warrants to access accounts, which has slowed access to information.
He said investigators are accessing social media accounts to determine who Alchaar had been in contact with before the shooting.
Smetana would not discuss details of the investigation or say whether any suspects have been ruled out.
Police are asking anyone with information about the case to contact the Pleasant Prairie Police Department at 262-694-7353 or Kenosha Area Crime Stoppers at 800-807-8477.
Calls to Crime Stoppers that lead to an arrest earn up to a $1,000 reward and can be made anonymously.
Man in critical condition after bar shooting
A 28-year-old Kenosha man is in critical condition after being shot in the neck during a dispute inside a tavern early Sunday.
According to Kenosha Police, officers were outside MVP Sports Bar, 3214 60th St., at 1:26 a.m. Sunday for a disorderly conduct call when they heard gunfire coming from inside the bar.
People inside the bar rushed to try to get out when the shots were fired, causing a crush of people in the doorway.
“Officers pulled people who were stuck in the doorway while shots were being fired inside,” said. Lt. James Beller. “The stampede delayed officers from getting inside the bar.”
Once inside, Beller said, police found the injured 28-year-old man.
The injured man was taken by Flight for Life helicopter to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, Beller said. He is in stable but critical condition, according to a statement from the police department.
The person who shot him fled before police got inside. Beller said at least one gun was found at the scene.
A man who was working in the bar when the shooting occurred said he heard just one gunshot.
“To us, it sounded like a firecracker popped,” he said. “I just heard one pop, one single pop, and then the guy was lying on the ground.”
The man said he believed an argument over a spilled drink led to the shooting. He said he believes the man who fired the shot fled through a back door.
Bar owner Trice Rand said she was bartending when the shooting occurred. She said she heard one shot and people in the bar dropped to the floor. She said that was followed by several more shots. “Then everyone was trying to get out the front door to get out of there.”
Rand said she saw the injured man lying on the ground. “He was bleeding. The people who were with him were trying to get him up to get him in a car (to take him to the hospital) but I told them no, keep him down, help was on the way.”
She said police came in with guns drawn. She said when she tried to talk to police about the incident, an officer put a gun to her head. “They really shoved me — I was just trying to tell them what was going on,” said Rand, who has medical issues and is on dialysis three days a week. She said she was injured when she fell, then was pepper sprayed in the face.
MVP had licensed security working in the bar during the incident, with security doing pat downs to check for weapons at the door, according to Rand and the employee.
Beller said after the shooting several fights broke out in the area outside the bar, and police called for help from the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol.
Kenosha Police are investigating the shooting.
Anyone with information or video of the incident is asked to contact the KPD Detective Bureau at 262-605-5203. Those that wish to remain anonymous can call Kenosha Area Crime Stoppers at 262-656-7333. People who left valuable items behind at the bar can also contact police.
Man arrested for yelling profanities, resisting
A Kenosha man was arrested Thursday after he was accused of yelling profanities at the Washington Park Pool and later resisting police officers taking him into custody.
The 31-year-old man was transported to the Kenosha County Jail following the 4:37 p.m. incident, according to a Kenosha Police Department report. Police recommended charges of obstructing and resisting officers and disorderly conduct.
According to the report, a lifeguard at the pool, 1821 Washington Road, told police the man had been making inappropriate sexual comments. When officers arrived, the man also swore and screamed obscenities after police told him to stop because children were in the vicinity.
Upon his arrest, the man threatened to fight officers and called them obscene names, according to the report.