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RACINE – Former Racine Mayor John Dickert was found not guilty of misdemeanor disorderly conduct by a Racine County District Court jury Wednesday. The charge was in connection with a fistfight between Dickert and another man in a Mount Pleasant grocery store parking lot in March 2020.
According to online court records, the jury was seated Tuesday morning. They heard the testimony throughout the afternoon before taking a break at 6:10 p.m. The jury began deliberation at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and returned with the verdict shortly before noon.
Dickert, 58, and Christian Reynoso, now 20 of Racine, were charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with disorderly conduct. As a result of a reported fight outside Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly, 5201 Washington Ave., on March 22, 2020. The Mount Pleasant Police investigated the report.
Misdemeanor disorderly conduct is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail.
According to the criminal complaint, Mount Pleasant Police officers spoke with Reynoso. He stated that he was driving to work “in a hurry and driving fast” when he observed another man driving and videotaping him. The man was later identified as Dickert. Reynoso then pulled into the store parking lot and next to Dickert’s vehicle. Then, Reynoso said that he asked Dickert why he was recording him. Reynoso stated that Dickert got out of his car, approached Reynoso’s passenger side window, and leaned on the car. After Dickert walked around to the driver’s side, he stated, “something to the effect of ‘do you think you’re a tough guy?’” Reynoso then began to step out of his car, and Dickert grabbed him by the neck/throat area and pushed him. Reynoso said he responded by punching Dickert. He stated that Dickert also punched him.
In speaking separately with police, Dickert said that he observed a vehicle behind him at and “high rate of speed” and pulled into the parking lot. He stated that Reynoso “pulled up next to him and gave him the finger” before both got out of their cars. “There was an exchange of words, and Reynoso threw the first punch,” the complaint stated.
The complaint also stated that police observed Reynoso have “bloody knuckles on his right hand and scratches/red marks on his neck.” Dickert was observed, “to have blood on his clothes and a laceration on the left side of his cheek.”
Police also observed surveillance video from the Piggly Wiggly and spoke with three witnesses.
John Dickert’s trial
At the trial, jurors reviewed the evidence and heard testimony from two Mount Pleasant Police officers and two witnesses.
Dickert was represented by Racine attorney Patrick Cafferty. The State of Wisconsin was represented by John Wagner.
Reynoso was also charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct. He remains free on a $1,000 signature bond. A status conference in his case is scheduled for June 28.
Dickert served as Racine mayor from 2009 to 2017. He resigned in July 2017 to become executive director of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. He left that position in 2019 to be an administrator with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.