Man who claimed police brutality is found guilty by a jury of battery to an officer

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Andrea Anderson
October 8, 2014

ELKHORN—A Sugar Creek man found guilty of battery to a law enforcement officer will be sentenced Nov. 26.

Daniel White, 42, had claimed he was the victim of police brutality, but a jury found him guilty of battery to a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer causing bodily harm and disorderly conduct, according to online court records.

Walworth County sheriff's deputies said White attacked them in a September 2012 incident. Deputies said White hit Deputy John Czerwinski twice in the head with a block of wood after resisting arrest.

Czerwinski and Deputy Matt Weber had gone to White's house after receiving a call from a neighbor who said White had yelled at two 14-year-old girls after taking White's cat inside and feeding it tuna, Assistant District Attorney Diane Donohoo said in opening statements at the trial.

White refused to secure his two pit bulls, wouldn't provide identification and wouldn't speak to the deputies outside his fenced yard about the trespassing complaint, Donohoo said.

Defense attorney Donna Kuchler argued White was cooperative and the deputies were aggressive.

The defense and prosecution disagreed on what happened when the deputies arrived.

Kuchler told the jury the deputies instructed White to get his driver's license from his car. On his way to his vehicle, the deputies asked him to put the dogs inside. White was unable to do either “quickly enough,” and the deputies broke White's fence. The dogs went after the deputies, and Czerwinski went after White, pinning White to the ground and injuring him, Kuchler said.

Donohoo told the jury White didn't offer to put the dogs into the house or volunteer information. The deputies told White that if the dogs bit the deputies, the dogs would be shot. White then hit Czerwinski, the two engaged in “hand-to-hand combat” and the dog bit Czerwinski, Donohoo said.

The dog shot with a Taser by Weber, and Weber hit the defendant, who resisted arrest again, Donohoo said.

Kuchler claimed the deputies used excessive force and said over the radio that shots were fired to cover their tracks.

Donohoo said the shots fired call resulted from Weber's Taser going off and Czerwinski thinking it was a gun because he was in an altercation with White.

White is scheduled to be sentenced at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, at the Walworth County Judicial Center.

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