News
Police Department Reports

RIVER FALLS Police Department Reports

The following incidents were reported to the River Falls Police Department Nov. 29 through Dec. 6.

Monday, Nov. 29

Police received a call from a Turningpoint for Victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence employee, who reported receiving multiple calls from a 49-year-old Inver Grove Heights, Minn., man. In the calls the man describes sexual assaults he wants to perform on infants and children. Police tracked the man down, who admitted to the phone calls and said he thought he was calling a pedophile hotline. The man’s mental health worker was made aware of the phone calls, 10 of which occurred between Nov. 18-29.

Tuesday, Nov. 30

At 3:30 p.m., a resident at 609 Spring St. reported someone had stolen the catalytic converter from her vehicle while it was parked in the driveway overnight. She estimated the replacement cost to be $1,800.

Wednesday, Dec. 1

At 7:50 a.m., River Falls High School Principal Kit Luedtke reported a theft that had occurred at the end of the previous school day. A student had stolen several Rice Krispy bars from the cafeteria and handed them out to his friends. A total of 18 bars at $1.25 apiece were taken. The juvenile said he was pressured to steal them by his friends. He received a three-day suspension and charges will be referred to Pierce County Juvenile Services.

Police responded to the area of Apollo Road and Maple Street at 8:57 p.m. for a juvenile who had run away from home after punching her father. The mother had followed her but lost sight of her when she entered the woods behind South Apollo Road. After about 25 minutes of searching, police found her sitting on the ground in the woods. She finally agreed to talk with officers and said she was upset for getting in trouble at school. When her parents came in the bathroom to talk to her, she punched her dad in the face, ripped the toilet paper holder off the wall and ran out. A disorderly conduct charge was referred to Pierce County Juvenile Services.

Thursday, Dec. 2 Jeremy Jeffrey Schoenick, 27, River Falls, was arrested for Pierce County warrants after police were called at 1:58 a.m. to 545 Birchcrest Drive for a disturbance. No one wanted to fill out any statements about what actually happened and both parties were intoxicated. Police also received conflicting reports. Schoenick was taken to Pierce County Jail.

Naihla Laquann Buckley, 36, River Falls, was arrested for a felony St. Croix County warrant at the ValuStay Inn (708 N. Main St.) after police saw her standing outside a room at 5:57 a.m. When she saw police, she ran and hid in a bathroom. When police attempted to handcuff her, she jumped over a bed and wedged herself between the bed and wall. After kicking a door shut on an officer’s hand, police had to carry her to the squad car as she continued to resist. As an officer tried to wrestler her feet into the squad, she struck him in the face. They eventually got her in the squad and took her to St. Croix County Jail without further incident. Charges for felony bail jumping (three counts), disorderly conduct, resist/obstruct – cause injury and battery or threat to judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer were referred to the district attorney. Her mother, Sharon E. Hart, 65, River Falls, also interfered and a resisting or obstructing an officer charge was referred for her.

Police responded to a three-vehicle crash at 7:17 a.m. at North Main and Division streets between a 2017 Frht Freight semi-tractor with trailer, driven by Andrew Joseph Scheidegger, 32, Rosemount, Minn.; a 2017 Subaru Crosstrek, driven by Brian Joseph Huffman, 67, Hudson; and a 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe, driven by Matthew Reuben Knothe-Rahn, 35, River Falls. As Scheidegger was proceeding through the green light at the intersection, he heard a loud crash to the rear of his trailer, then a secondary crash hit his trailer. Knothe-Rahn, who was on the phone with his wife after working a graveyard shift, struck the rear of Huffman’s vehicle. Huffman turned his vehicle so it wouldn’t be pushed into Scheidegger’s trailer, and Knothe-Rahn then kept going and hit the trailer. All three drivers wore seat belts; Scheidegger and Huffman reported no injuries, but Knothe-Rahn was taken by private vehicle to River Falls Area Hospital with suspected serious injuries, including a bloody lip and left leg laceration. The semi-tractor/trailer had functional damage, while the other two vehicles were towed due to disabling damage. Knothe-Rahn was cited $111.40 for inattentive driving.

At 7:50 a.m., an RFHS student reported someone had stolen a pair of white Nike Blazers high tops from the locker room. Police interviewed the suspect, who admitted to taking the shoes after his friends pressured him to. The school suspended him for two days and a juvenile theft charge was referred to the district attorney.

At noon, a Holiday (302 S. Main St.) employee reported that someone had passed a counterfeit $20 bill the day before between 3-11 p.m.

Police responded to a two-vehicle crash at 12:28 p.m. in the parking lot of 1680 Commerce Court between a 2017 Volvo XC60, driven by Catherine Marie Jansen, 60, Bloomington, Minn., and a 2018 Honda CRV, driven by Matthew G. Kari, 56, Hudson. Kari said he’d pulled into a handicapped parking stall by accident, so backed out and collided with the driver’s side panel of Jansen’s vehicle. Jansen also had been backing out. Both drivers wore seat belts and reported no injuries. Both vehicles had minor damage.

Officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 1:06 p.m. at Main and Elm streets between a 2020 Acura MDX, driven by Quyen The Vo, 38, Bloomington, Minn., and a 2019 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Richard Anthony Pechacek, 74, River Falls. Vo said he was heading north on South Main Street and stopped for a pedestrian in the crosswalk. Pechacek, who was behind Vo, struck Vo’s vehicle at about 25 mph. Vo, who wore a seat belt, was taken by ambulance to River Falls Area Hospital with possible injuries. Pechacek, who was not wearing a seat belt, had suspected minor injuries. Vo’s vehicle had minor damage, while Pechacek’s was towed; it had functional damage. Pechacek was cited $124 for automobile following too closely.

At 2:15 p.m., an officer responded to Meyer Middle School (230 N. Ninth St.) for a student making threats against teachers that included burning down the school, killing annoying teachers and breaking their necks. The student said he was “raging” and didn’t mean any of it. The student was suspended for one day.

Friday, Dec. 3

At 2:09 a.m., police witnessed Wayne Robert Schmutz, 21, Menomonie, make an unlawful U turn at Main and Maple streets. When the officer pulled him over near Cascade and Main, Schmutz smelled heavily of intoxicants. He said he’d consumed about 10 beers from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. After failing one field sobriety test and declining to perform others, police took him to the hospital for a blood draw. He was arrested and cited $500 for OWI-second and $98.80 for unlawful Y/U turn – erected signs. The OWI may charge may turn into OWI-fourth due to two pending OWI cases in Dunn County. After booking, Schmutz was released into the care of a friend.

Police responded to a home in the 1000 block of Cascade Avenue at 4:02 p.m. for a juvenile who broke a TV. Police located the juvenile walking in the 700 block of South Wasson Lane. The juvenile also admitted to breaking a folding table because he was angry his mom wouldn’t call someone for him. A criminal damage to property charge was referred to Pierce County Juvenile Services.

Johnathon A. Hruska, 31, River Falls, was arrested and cited $124 for operating while revoked and $187 for possession of THC after a traffic stop at 6:18 p.m. at Cemetery Road and Greenwood Valley Drive for operating without exterior lights. When police stopped him, they smelled marijuana. A search of the car revealed a rolled cigarette wedged between the front seat and center console that tested positive for THC.

Saturday, Dec. 4 Joseph Bryan Dessens, 38, River Falls, was arrested for OWI-first after a traffic stop at 2:05 a.m. near Main and Cedar streets for an illegal U-turn (made at Main and Walnut streets). Dessens refused to submit to a breathalyzer or field sobriety tests. Since he could locate no one sober to pick him up, police transported him to Pierce County Jail for a sober hold.

Police were called at 12:30 p.m. to the Valu Stay Inn (708 N. Main St.) for a fraud complaint. Sharon E. Hart, 65, River Falls, was cited for fraud on innkeeper (for failing to pay for one night’s stay) and told to vacate the motel. The officer also requested $72.50 in restitution.

At 3:20 p.m., police were called to a mobile home at 1450 S. Wasson Lane where a juvenile had a bad reaction to smoking marijuana. Another teen called police for his friend when his friend vomited. The teen’s mother was not home at the time. The teen who had the bad reaction has been reported to Pierce County Sheriff’s Office the previous day as a runaway. He was taken to River Falls Area Hospital. The teen who called police said a third teen had brought the marijuana over, but fled when he called for help.

Sunday, Dec. 5

Police were called to a home in the 1000 block of Cascade Avenue at 8:41 a.m. for a disorderly conduct incident. A juvenile had struck his mother with a rolled-up blanket and called her vulgar names when she asked him to remove a recording app on her phone. Police took the juvenile to the police department, where he admitted to the accusations. His case worker was informed and he returned home. A disorderly conduct charge will be referred.

Police were called at 2:09 p.m. to the Valu Stay Inn (708 N. Main St.) for a fraud complaint. Sharon E. Hart, 65, River Falls, was cited for fraud on innkeeper (for failing to pay for one night’s stay) and told to vacate the motel. She refused and said she had nowhere else to go, but that she was working on getting an apartment. The officer also requested $72.50 in restitution.

At 12:10 p.m. police responded to 523 S. Wasson Lane for a standby and keep the peace. A juvenile was picked up by her mother after living with her sister for a couple of months. There were no incidents.

Monday, Dec. 6

A River Falls High School employee reported at 12:03 p.m. vulgar and inappropriate posters being hung up in the bathrooms and locker bays. Parents had made several complaints about the posters, which used vulgar language about vaping and masturbation. After checking school cameras, a suspect was identified, who admitted to making and hanging up the posters. When searching the student’s backpack, the principal also found a steak knife allegedly stolen from Outback Steak House. The student said he got the idea for the posters from Snapchat. He was fined $98.80 for disorderly conduct.

Officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 4:15 p.m. at North Main Street and Mound View Road between a 2020 Jeep Renegade, driven by Brandon Keith Aherns, 23, River Falls, and a 2021 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Nicholas Peter Howard, 57, New Richmond. Aherns was traveling north on North Main Street behind Howard. He looked down to take his medication and struck the back-end of Howard’s truck, who was stopped temporarily due to the red light at Powell Avenue and North Main. Both drivers wore seat belts and reported no injuries. The Chevy had minor damage, while the Jeep had to be towed due to disabling damage. Aherns was cited $111.40 for inattentive driving and $124 for operating motor vehicle without insurance.

December 14, 2021