A 45-year-old man is facing trespassing charges after a man caught him attempting a theft in the man’s home, according to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office.

Joseph Knilans, of Racine, was charged Friday in Racine County Circuit Court with one misdemeanor count of criminal trespass. If convicted, he faces up to nine months in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called at 8:34 a.m. Thursday to a home in the 1100 block of College Avenue for a report of a man who broke into the house and fled out the same window. When officers arrived, the man said he was outside having coffee with friends when he saw a man he knows – Knilans – walking up and down the block.

Police say the man told them when he went inside to get more coffee, he heard footsteps in a bedroom. When the man went to investigate, he saw a man wearing a brown shirt and grey shorts climbing out the window. The man went back outside and told his friends what happened then spotted Knilans and realized he was the man who had broken into the man’s apartment. The man told police that nothing was taken and that while he knew Knilans because they’d lived in the same building, the two were not friends.

Officers caught up with Knilans and noticed he had injuries consistent with pulling himself through a window, the complaint reads. Specifically, he had scrapes on the fronts of his shins, lower thighs, elbows, the tops of his hands and his left knee. Knilans was taken into custody and transported to the Racine County Jail without incident.

Knilans was assigned a $150 cash bond – which he posted – and ordered to not have any contact with the man whose apartment he is accused of entering. He will next be in court August 27 for a pre-trial conference.

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