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KENOSHA COUNTY COURT

Man jailed after threatening police, shouting racial slurs at children, attacking cook at restaurant

A man with a series of past run-ins with Kenosha Police was arrested after he allegedly attacked a cook at a restaurant when the cook intervened as the man shouted racial slurs at customers, including children.

Matthew Arnst, 34, of Kenosha, was charged Friday with possession of explosives, three counts of threats to a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and seven counts of bail jumping in connection to the Wednesday incident.

In a separate filing, Arnst was charged with criminal damage to property and four counts of bail jumping for allegedly throwing a rock through a large window at the San Luis Grocery, 1824 52nd St.

According to the criminal complaint for the explosives charge, Kenosha Police were called to the Applebee’s restaurant, 6950 75th St., at 9:49 p.m. Wednesday for a report of a fight. When they arrived, officers spoke to the manager who said a man identified as Arnst had been in the restaurant “screaming, yelling, swearing, calling people racial slurs” and expletives, directing the slurs toward customers including eight to 10 children.

Staff members asked Arnst to leave multiple times and he began gathering his things, including a bicycle he had brought into the restaurant. When a cook at the restaurant came out and told Arnst to leave, according to the complaint, Arnst picked up his bicycle and swung it at the cook, striking him in the abdomen and then got into a physical struggle with the cook.

He then left the restaurant and the manager locked the door to prevent him from coming back inside. According to the complaint, the restaurant employees did not want to press charges but wanted to make sure Arnst did not return.

Police found Arnst running on the west side of a wooden fence that separates the Tinseltown theater property from nearby apartments, Arnst carrying the bicycle as he ran. Police took him into custody for the restaurant incident and for the damage to the San Luis Grocery, which had occurred on March 21. In that incident, Arnst had been identified through a security video that showed a man throwing a rock through the window at 12:43 a.m.

According to the complaint, Arnst appeared to be intoxicated. Police found what they identified as a quarter-stick of dynamite — and which a court official described as M-80 firework — in the book bag Arnst was carrying.

Out on bond at time of incident

The complaint states that police had had a series of past incidents with Arnst and that there were “at least eight (past) safety warnings about the defendant in regards to officer safety and threats to officers.”

The complaint states that after Arnst was taken into custody he made a series of threats to the officers involved, including using racial slurs, making threats directed to their children and families, telling one officer he knew where the officer lived and where his children went to school, and saying “I will kill all of you.”

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When the incidents occurred, Arnst was out on bond for four criminal cases including charges of disorderly conduct, battery, strangulation and resisting police, along with a Milwaukee drunk driving case.

In court Friday, Arnst’s attorney said the allegations against Arnst are “not consistent with his character” and are the result of recent personal issues, including the death of a family member, and alcohol. The attorney said Arnst is an Army veteran and is active in mixed martial arts.

Court Commissioner Larry Keating said the threats Arnst made against officers were disturbingly specific, and said Arnst’s behavior while out on bond on multiple cases gave him no faith he would comply with court orders. He set Arnst’s bond at $15,000 for the case involving Applebee’s and $500 for the criminal damage case.

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