Delavan police officer remains on unpaid leave after strangulation charges
DELAVAN—A Delavan police officer facing felony charges of strangulation and suffocation of his girlfriend will remain on unpaid leave because of a bond condition preventing him from possessing a weapon.
Todd Wiese, 43, a police lieutenant and a veteran with more than 20 years on the force, is accused of choking a 34-year-old Rockford, Illinois, woman with her scarf Dec. 19.
Wiese made his first appearance Friday afternoon at the Walworth County Judicial Center before Kenosha County Court Judge Bruce Schroeder.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Hahn requested an amendment to his client's bond, set in December.
Hahn said the bond's provision restricting Wiese from possessing any weapons forces his client to remain on unpaid leave under Delavan Police Department regulations. Hahn said the unpaid leave has created a difficult financial situation for Wiese.
Hahn argued the allegations against Wiese didn't involve a weapon. He asked that the restriction be lifted so Wiese could possess a weapon while on the job.
Prosecutor Michael Thurston said there was still concern in the community over Wiese's alleged violent actions.
"The leap from unpaid leave to possessing a firearm is quite a big leap,” Thurston said.
Schroeder denied Hahn's request but said he would move more quickly on setting a hearing date.
Wiese is also charged with two misdemeanors, battery and disorderly conduct.
He was arrested Dec. 19 after police responded to a domestic disturbance call to his Delavan residence.
The domestic situation ended before the call was placed.
According to the criminal complaint, Wiese and the Rockford woman had gotten into argument at his home after going out for dinner and drinks in Delavan the night of Dec. 18.
Wiese became angry, accused the woman of talking to another man and called her a whore, the complaint noted.
He threw a cup of water at the woman, grabbed the scarf around her neck and choked her, according to the complaint.
The complaint noted Walworth County sheriff's detectives interviewing the woman Dec. 19 noticed a “red ring” around the woman's neck and a “friction burn” on one side.
Wiese was off duty at the time, but police responding to the call notified the Walworth County Sheriff's Office after it was learned the incident involved a Delavan police officer, according to the sheriff's office.
City of Delavan Police Chief Timothy O'Neill confirmed that Wiese has been on unpaid leave since Jan. 6. Previously, Wiese was on paid administrative leave as of Dec. 21, when he was placed on suspension.
O'Neill said an internal investigation to determine if Wiese violated any police department rules is ongoing. He said he had no reports yet on the investigation's progress.
Wiese's next court appearance is scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, at the Walworth County Judicial Center.