A 26-year-old Kenosha man is being held on a $100,000 cash bond in the Kenosha County Jail on nine felony charges, including five for false imprisonment and another for stalking.
Joseph D. Bickwermert, of the 2600 block of 63rd Street, is due back in Kenosha County Circuit Court on Dec. 14 for an adjourned initial appearance before Commissioner Larry Keating.
Court records indicate that an attorney has yet to be assigned to represent him. Keating set the $100,000 bond during Bickwermert’s initial appearance Oct. 13.
Along with the six felony counts, Bickwermert also is charged with two felony counts of making threats to injure and one felony count of operating a motor vehicle without owner’s consent.
If convicted on all counts, the defendant faces a maximum fine of $90,000 and 54 years in prison. He’s charged as a repeat-offender as well, which could increase the potential prison time by four years on each count.
According to the criminal complaint, a woman reported to Kenosha Police on Sept. 29 that the defendant had held her against her will, threatened to kill her and had taken her vehicle and refused to give it back.
She told police the incidents began at the end of August, when Bickwermert arrived at her residence, rang the doorbell and knocked on the door for 30 minutes to an hour. In September, the complaint states the defendant saw her driving in the city and began to follow her.
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At one point, Bickwermert allegedly put his dirt bike in front of her car and began to bang on the window, the complaint states.
The woman told police she then was held against her will at a residence, and when she attempted to leave, the defendant allegedly blocked the doorway of a bedroom with knives between the door and the frame so the door would not open. She stated she was at that residence for about a week and a half.
Bickwermert is accused of also riding past the woman’s workplace three times on his bicycle, leaving notes on her vehicle and on one day in September making “hundreds and hundreds” of phone calls from a blocked number.
Later in September, the woman told police she was approached by the defendant while in her car, when he allegedly told her, “Don’t try to leave,” and “we would both die today.” Bickwermert took control of the vehicle and stated he was “driving them to the highway to kill them both.”
The woman stated she tried to yell out the window to two police officers as they drove by, but was unable to get their attention.
Bickwermert allegedly later took her car after it had been parked on 39th Avenue.
Bickwermert was arrested Oct. 8, the complaint states after police were called to the Kenosha Public Library when he allegedly followed the woman there and called her phone several times.
Court records show he has previous felony conviction in 2019 for strangulation and domestic abuse and a misdemeanor conviction, also in 2019, for battery.