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Village of Walworth police officer resigns after criminal charge

By Andrea Anderson
August 22, 2015

ELKHORN—A former village of Walworth police officer will make a continued initial appearance in court Tuesday on a disorderly conduct charge.

Brian J. Lantz, 36, is charged in Walworth County Court with misdemeanor disorderly conduct after he allegedly threw household items on his lawn and threatened to shoot himself to death after arguing with his wife, according to a criminal complaint.

At about 10:21 p.m. July 6, police officers and sheriff's deputies responded to a call for a possible suicidal subject at the Lantz residence, 124 Phillips Ave., in the village of Walworth.

The day before, Lantz had been drinking “all day” and argued with his wife before throwing dishes and chairs onto the lawn and saying he should “put a gun in his moth and pull the trigger,” the complaint states.

Lantz had a handgun in his lap with ammunition on the table next to him when he made the statement.

Earlier July 5, Lantz “just snapped,” his wife told a deputy. Lantz accused her of having an affair with a neighbor, and he continued to drink and get angrier as the day went on, the complaint states.

The wife left the home and came back after being contacted by a family member, who said Lantz was intoxicated and sitting in a living room chair with a gun in his hand, saying he wanted to kill himself.

After family members left July 5, Lantz threw the items on the lawn and began arguing with his wife, calling her a slut and a whore, and smashed a watermelon on the floor, according to the criminal complaint.

Lantz continued to drink July 6, and his wife grew concerned for her safety and that of her children and Lantz.

No physical contact occurred between Lantz and other household members, the complaint states.

Lantz submitted a letter of resignation from the police department July 14, citing personal reasons, Deputy Village Clerk Lisa Rogers said.

Charges were filed Aug. 10 by the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office.

Lantz was a patrol officer, Rogers said. She did not know for how long.

He has two prior misdemeanor convictions from 1997 for obstructing an officer and damaging property, according to online court records.

Village Police Chief Chris Severt did not return phone calls for comment.

Lantz's wife told deputies Lantz had become an alcoholic, can drink 10.5 liters of vodka a week and was “not his normal drunk self” over the two-day period, the complaint states.

Lantz was taken to a hospital July 6 for an evaluation after he told a deputy he was fine but feeling overwhelmed by financial obligations, stepchildren and the lack of organization in his home. The complaint says a preliminary breath test showed Lantz's blood-alcohol content was 0.287, nearly four times the legal limit.

Lantz has moved to 269 N. Main St., No. 4, in the village of Walworth, according to online court records.

Lantz is free on a signature bond. He will appear in court next at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, at the Walworth County Judicial Center.