RACINE, WI – A homeless man was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with battery and disorderly conduct – each with a repeater enhancement – after he assaulted someone reportedly drunk and in a wheelchair.
The incident occurred March 3 at the Homeless Assistance Leadership Organization, 2000 DeKoven Avenue in Racine.
Thomas Straube, 56, of Racine, stands accused of substantial battery – causing great bodily harm and disorderly conduct an individual who came to HALO intoxicated. If convicted of both charges, he faces up to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $11,000.
According to the criminal complaint, the staff placed the individual in a wheelchair in an effort to keep him from falling and hurting himself. Straube approached the intoxicated individual, grabbed him from the wheelchair and threw him into the wall and a set of lockers.
The individual assaulted lost consciousness, fell to the ground and suffered a cut to his eye. Surveillance footage confirmed the accounts offered by each individual.
Officers from the City of Racine Police Department contacted Straube, who reportedly acted loud and belligerent. Paramedics who responded requested Straube be moved to another location so they could safely treat the individual who was assaulted. The assaulted individual was not responsive when paramedics arrived.
Straube initially refused to comply with the requests of law enforcement officials and paramedics, and continued to act loud and belligerent until final exiting the building.
The individual who suffered the assault went to the hospital with paramedics. It was later determined the individual assaulted suffered a laceration to his left eye that required three stitches, and also endured fractures to his eye socket and sinus cavity.
Straube is being held on a $1,000 cash bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. March 11 at the Racine County Jail.