A La Crosse man was arrested over the weekend after he was accused of hitting an officer in the face Saturday morning.
Alexander Mitchell, 26, was charged Monday with battery to a law enforcement officer, felony bail jumping, resisting an officer and disorderly conduct, all as a repeat offender.
According to the complaint, Mitchell asked a woman for a ride outside the La Crosse County Justice Center at about 5 a.m. Saturday and then followed her to the building when she said no. The woman reported the strange interaction, and a La Crosse police officer went to check out the area.
The officer found Mitchell walking at the intersection of Fourth and Main streets. Mitchell walked toward the officer in a state of “excited delirium” but didn’t say anything, according to the complaint. When the officer asked him questions, Mitchell began walking away.
“The male then made a weird gesture and a high-pitched grunt and jumped in the air,” according to the police report. Mitchell tried to walk away and was stopped when the officer grabbed his arm. Mitchell responded by slapping the officer across the face, according to the complaint.
The officer then took him to the ground and arrested him, taking him to a local hospital
Mitchell has eight open cases in La Crosse County, which include methamphetamine and theft charges.
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Judge Ramona Gonzalez raised concerns about Mitchell’s apparent drug problem during his appearance Monday, saying she could not let him out into the community without a plan for drug treatment in place.
“Mr. Mitchell needs help. Given the facts of this particular case, to have him at 5 in the morning looking for a ride to the Walgreens and not able to take direction from law enforcement, indicates there is a problem,” Gonzalez said.
Mitchell’s attorney Michael Hughes requested a $100 cash bond, arguing that the amount was significant for Mitchell, who has no income. He said that despite Mitchell’s many open cases, he consistently appears in court.
“The purpose of bond is to make sure he’s here and it’s 5 o’clock in the morning and here he is,” Hughes said.
Gonzalez said she also needed to take the safety of the community into account.
“If he’s somewhere we can put him on house arrest, hopefully we can keep him out of the community and out of the jail,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez ordered Mitchell pay $100 to Justice Support Services for a previously lost GPS monitoring device, but agreed to let him sign a $2,500 signature bond if that payment is made on the condition Mitchell submit to house arrest and drug testing.