Racine police say a 20-year-old Racine man who broke into his neighbor’s house faces felony charges after the victim fought him off, and he was chased by nearby residents who identified him as the perpetrator.
Shawn Wiskerchen was charged Friday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count each of burglary, possession of burglarious tools, and second degree recklessly endangering safety as well as a misdemeanor count of battery, all as a repeater. If convicted, he faces up to almost 17 years in prison and/or up to $70,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called shortly after noon Friday to a residence on 20th Street for a report of a burglary. When officers arrived, a woman was standing outside visibly shaken, crying and bleeding from the fingernails on her right hand. She told police she arrived home around noon and found all the cabinets in the bathroom open, and she heard creaking coming from upstairs.
Officers say the woman went upstairs and noticed her bedroom had been gone through and a door to another bedroom was closed. When the woman opened the door, it hit someone inside, and she started yelling. The intruder – later identified as Wiskerchen – tried to punch the woman, but she blocked the blow with her arm. The two shoved at one another a bit before the defendant started toward the stairs.
The woman said she grabbed at Wiskerchen’s shorts and noticed he was wearing turquoise underwear, the complaint reads, before he grabbed her and threw her down the stairs. The defendant was able to get past the woman, unlock the front door and flee.
Police say the woman ran outside and screamed for someone to chase Wiskerchen, and at least two people responded. They told officers they saw Wiskerchen enter a nearby backyard. At least one witness picked the defendant out of a photo lineup, and another citizen described the clothing Wiskerchen was wearing during the chase. Police found those items in pile next to the garage of the residence in question.
Wiskerchen gained access to the woman’s home by drilling a hole in the frame of a basement window and using a screwdriver to open the window. A pile of sawdust was found at the scene, and a severely bent screwdriver was found with the clothing, the complaint reads.
When officers made contact with the defendant, they say he had fresh scratches on his arm, and he was wearing sagging shorts with bright green boxers green clearly visible.
Wiskerchen was assigned a $5,000 cash bond at his initial appearance. He remains in the Racine County Jail on these charges and a state Department of Corrections hold for a 2014 theft conviction. Wiskerchen will next be in court May 27 for a preliminary hearing.