Police Department Reports

Posted 9/1/21

RIVER FALLS Police Department Reports The following incidents were reported to the River Falls Police Department Aug. 17-23. Aug. 17 At 1:12 p.m., a Kwik-Trip (1238 N. Main St.) employee reported …

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Police Department Reports


RIVER FALLS Police Department Reports

The following incidents were reported to the River Falls Police Department Aug. 17-23.

Aug. 17

At 1:12 p.m., a Kwik-Trip (1238 N. Main St.) employee reported multiple intentional gas drive-offs involving the same vehicle/offender, a green Chevy Malibu. The vehicle’s plate was clearly visible on surveillance video and came back to Lawrence Joseph Lapinsky, 72, Emerald. He pumped $39.06 in gas at 10:04 p.m. July 16 and left without paying. He pumped $48.80 in gas at 6:41 p.m. Aug. 12 and left without paying. That time, an employee approached Lapinsky and he said he always pays his debts. The employee advised him he can’t just pay for gas whenever he feels like it. Police attempted contact with Lapinsky. Kwik-Trip said it would pursue legal action of the gas isn’t paid for.

At 3:03 p.m., a Positive Alternatives (2860 Williams Ave.) reported a runaway juvenile, who had left at 11:07 a.m. Police said to call back if the juvenile didn’t return by 10 p.m., which they didn’t. At 5:50 p.m. Aug. 23, a La Crosse County human services worker reported the runaway was located in that county with their grandparents and would be remaining there.

At 9:32 p.m., police responded to 1485 Wildcat Court for a possible domestic in progress. Police knocked on the apartment door several times without success. The suspect’s uncle came down the hall and encouraged the occupants to answer the door. When police were allowed in, they saw debris on the floor, a broken glass panel on the microwave and shattered glass on the counter and floor. Witnesses said no physical violence toward people occurred.

Jose Ivan Santiago Santos,

40, River Falls, was arrested for domestic disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

Aug. 18

At 5:42 a.m., police were called to Kwik Trip (1238 N. Main St.) to check on a man sitting next to light pole in the parking lot with a shopping basket. The man, later identified as Elijah Durnbaugh, 40, River Falls, was talking to himself and indicated he was waiting for a ride. He had been there for about two hours. A man picked up him and allegedly didn’t pay for a Tornado drink in the store, worth $1. The store said they’d write it off, but wanted Durnbaugh officially trespassed from that location. Police served Durnbaugh the trespass notice at 10:09 a.m. Aug. 20 in the parking lot across from Aldi’s (1567 Sullivan Court).

At 9 a.m. officers received a call from a resident at 900 S. Orange St. about a theft. A man’s American Express debit card and $30 in cash were missing; $300 had been spent on the debit card. Both items had been in his suitcase and he noticed their disappearance at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 17. A suspect was interviewed, but the case was not resolved.

At 12:26 p.m., police responded to 2327 Greenwood Valley drive for a stray cat. The cat remained unclaimed and was ultimately taken to River Bluff Humane Society in Red Wing, Minn.

Nathaniel David Helgeson, 32, River Falls, was cited for retail theft and trespassed from Family Fresh (303 S. Main St.) after an incident that occurred Aug. 16. The store manager reviewed video footage, which showed Helgeson scanned eight items totaling $20.93 in the self-checkout lane but did not pay for them. When police spoke with Helgeson on Aug. 18, he said he frequently shops at Family Fresh and that he had not meant to leave without paying. He remembered being distracted by a cashier changing register paper. He met police at the store and paid the bill, but was still cited and trespassed.

At 3:08 p.m., police investigated a driving complaint at Dollar Tree (1174 N. Main St.) where someone had reported a man driving extremely slowly and weaving all over the road. Police made contact with

Daniel Benson, 47, New Richmond, who said his vehicle’s brakes had gone out and he made his way into the dollar store to purchase brake fluid, which he showed the officer. When the officer pressed the brake pedal down, it went all the way to the floor. Benson was cited for operate without valid license (third) and advised to get someone else to move the car.

Officers responded to a three-vehicle crash with injury at 5:02 p.m. at Main Street and Quarry Road between a 2010 Toyota Camry, driven by Destinae Summer Sakschek, 27, River Falls; a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500, driven by Michael Norman Adams, 38, River Falls; and a 2020 Jeep Compass, driven by Lana Sue Ament, 53, River Falls. Sakschek was passing through the intersection on Main Street and had not realized traffic was stopped for the red light ahead at Main/Paulson Road. She slammed on her brakes, but struck the back of Adams’ vehicle, going 20-25 mph. Adams’ then struck the back of Ament’s vehicle, who was in front of him. EMS arrived to assess injuries. Sakschek, who wore a seat belt, reported no injuries. Her vehicle was towed due to disabling damage and she was cited $111.40 for inattentive driving. Adams and his 5-year-old passenger wore seat belts and reported no injuries. His vehicle had functional damage. Ament, who also wore a seat belt, was taken to River Falls Area Hospital with suspected minor injuries. Her vehicle had minor damage.

Aug. 19

Officers responded at 12:56 a.m. to a residence in the 1000 block of East Cascade Avenue where a juvenile had reportedly run away by jumping out of a bathroom window. The juvenile was on house arrest per his Pierce County social worker. Police found the juvenile outside, who said they were looking for an item outside. The juvenile wore a backpack and refused to be truthful about their whereabouts. The social worker was informed and the juvenile went back inside the home.

At 10:20 a.m., police were called to Family Fresh (303 S. Main St.) for a juvenile shoplifter. An employee saw the juvenile take Benadryl allergy medication and stuff it in a purse. The medication was valued at $15.60. The employee stopped the juvenile after the juvenile left the store. The juvenile was crying and apologized. Police cited the juvenile and contacted their mother.

At 3:52 p.m., a resident in the 600 block of North Pearl Street called police to report an Air Soft gun magazine he had found near Lewis and Pine streets on Aug. 17. He turned it into police.

At 5:48 p.m., police responded to North Main and Quarry Road for an ATV driving complaint. The officer made contact with three women at 232 Quarry Road, one of whom matched the description of the ATV driver. The woman, later identified as

Naihla Laquann Buckley,

36, River Falls, was acting emotional and talking about things completely unrelated to the ATV driving. She was warned. However, a man at the property, identified as Lyle Halvor Johnson, 56, River Falls, had a felony warrant from the Department of Corrections. Due to a history of threatening law enforcement, the officer left and returned at 6:41 p.m. with back-up. When police returned, Johnson and Buckley were outside the residence. When officers attempted to speak to Johnson, Buckley interfered and got in the officers’ faces, threatening to kick the squad and telling Johnson to go. Johnson attempted to move into the house, but police stopped him. He remained cooperative during his arrest; police found a glass methamphetamine pipe in his pants pocket. He was taken to Pierce County Jail; a possession of drug paraphernalia charge will be forwarded to St. Croix County. Buckley was handcuffed, at which time officers found methamphetamine and marijuana blunts. She was arrested for misdemeanor bail jumping, possession of methamphetamine, possession of THC and resisting/ obstructing an officer. She was taken to St. Croix County Jail.

Aug. 20

At 8:30 a.m., officers responded to 3111 Derby St. where someone had vandalized a complainant’s camper by cutting the valve stems off the two driver’s side trailer tires, causing them to deflate. The owners had brought the camper to their house about 7 p.m. the night before to ready it for a weekend trip. They noticed the damage at 8 a.m. A suspect was identified.

At 10:32 a.m., police received a complaint about a hitand- run car vs. mailbox crash at 430 Jefferson St. The complainant said he left around 6 a.m. and when he returned at 10:30 a.m., the mailbox was damaged. Tire tracks coming from the west lead to the mailbox and through the yard. A piece of a Ford Focus was found by a tree. The complainant said his wife has been receiving a lot of threats from people because she’s on the school board. Police told him to file a complaint about the threats. It’s unknown if the incident is related to the threats.

At 10:53 a.m., a resident at 431 N. Second St. reported a cat coming to her residence. She tried to keep it inside, but it urinated everywhere so she put it back outside. It appeared well-cared for. Police picked up the gray cat later that day. The veterinarian located a chip, which listed the cat’s owner at an Illinois address. A voicemail was left for the owner and the cat was transported to River Bluff Humane Society in Red Wing.

At 11:14 a.m., a complainant reported a driver speeding through the 100 block of Cudd Avenue. A suspect was identified.

Police responded to a property damage complaint at 2:38 p.m. at 509 ½ E. Maple St. Two witnesses reported a man, later identified as Elijah Durnbaugh, 40, River Falls, arrived around 1:04 p.m. and began pounding on the top window of the door until it shattered. He was also yelling. He left in a vehicle. Durnbaugh had called police earlier that day at 1:47 p.m., to report his was trying to retrieve property from the residence, including a knife and his mother’s pants, but the resident wouldn’t open the door. The case remains under investigation.

At 3:23 p.m., a resident at an apartment in the 200 block of West Johnson Street reported receiving threatening text messages from a roommate. The two were involved in a living situation dispute. The man not on the lease was told he should arrange a time to pick up his property.

Aug. 21

At 12:38 a.m., police responded to a residence in the 1000 block of East Cascade Avenue for a runaway juvenile. The juvenile’s mother said a friend had told her that the juvenile may have just been at Kwik Trip (1238 N. Main St.) and stolen something. Around the same time, a resident in the 1700 block of Southridge Road reported someone knocking on her door then running off. When the juvenile returned home around 3:30 a.m., they admitted to stealing two packs of gum at Kwik Trip and knocking on the Southgate Road door, along with another juvenile who didn’t want to go home. That juvenile had been reported missing by their mother as well. The juvenile was finally located in the other juvenile’s home hiding under the bed around 9:15 a.m. Social workers were informed of the retail theft and disorderly conduct.

At 7:48 a.m., a welfare check was requested on a man who was either sleeping or passed out on the stoop at Dick’s Hometown Liquor (1141 S. Main St.) The man told police he was waiting for ride because his vehicle was stolen. He said he had given a man named Joe a ride from the Cities to River Falls and that after they went to a residence in Cudd’s Court, Joe and a woman named Monique took his vehicle without his permission. He declined to write a statement, because he said he was going to buy the vehicle, which didn’t yet belong to him, from a woman named Shari for $100, and Shari was on her way from Apple Valley to pick him up. He said a woman at Monique’s residence had taken him to Kwik Trip and left him there, where he weathered the night. As police spoke with the man, the woman, identified as Shari Ann Harlston, 42, Apple Valley, pulled into Kwik Trip. Police followed the man to see if Harlston wanted to report the vehicle as stolen. Harlston declined to report the vehicle as stolen; police noticed her eyes were bloodshot and glossy. She failed field sobriety tests and during a search of her vehicle, police found methamphetamine, a bubble pipe with meth residue. At River Falls Area Hospital, she was cited $861 for OWI and $124 for operating without a valid license and arrested for possession of methamphetamine and possess drug paraphernalia before being transported to Pierce County Jail.

At 12:58 p.m., officers responded to a two-vehicle crash at 1047 E. Main St. between a 2003 Ford F250, driven by Scott Keith Risberg, 55, Monona, and a legally parked 2016 Cadillac SRX, owned by Denise Faye Nelson-Cave, Roberts. Risberg was attempting to pull into a parking stall at Walgreen’s when he struck the back passenger-side corner of the Cadillac. Both vehicles had minor damage and no injuries were reported. Risberg was warned for improper turning and not having his vehicle registered.

At 4:59 p.m., police responded to a residence in the 1000 block of East Cascade Avenue for a fight between two juveniles. One apparently told the other to take a shower and was then threatened with two steak knives. The two began punching each other and fighting on the floor. One juvenile left to stay with someone else. Both juveniles were referred to Pierce County.

Aug. 22

At 1:12 a.m., police responded to River Falls Area Hospital for a dog bite that had occurred at Garage Bikes & Brews (109 W. Cedar St.) The complainant said he was bitten in the face by a friend of a friend’s dog. He admitted fault, since he said he was playing aggressively with the dog when he was warned not to.

Cole Erik Justesen, 21, River Falls, was cited for urinating in public at 2:26 a.m. in the Family Fresh parking lot (303 S. Main St.) At 10:03 a.m., police responded to 403 Wasson Court, Apt. 10, for a deceased male. A caregiver had found the 67year-old man dead on the floor of the living room. It appears he died from natural causes. Next of kin was notified.

At 12:37 p.m., Wyatt Warner Kuehni, 16, Ellsworth, struck a deer on Highway 65, about a half mile south of Main Street, while driving a 2005 Ford F150. The deer was dead when police arrived. Kuehni and his mother, who was also in the vehicle, reported no injuries. The truck had minor damage.

Aug. 23

Officers responded to a crash at 8:47 a.m. between a 2018 Ford Eclipse, driven by

Catherine Nyseth, 55, Woodville, and multiple parked vehicles on Cascade Avenue near Crescent Street, including a 2014 Subaru, owned by Kelli S. Potthoff, White Bear Lake, Minn.; a 2015 Ford Escape, owned by

Corey D.L. Clark, River Falls; a 2019 Hyundai Sonata, owned by Brian N. Holzer, Hammond; and a 2006 Honda CRV, owned by Bao Lee, River Falls. Nyseth was traveling westbound on Cascade Avenue when she looked down at her phone and struck the driver’s side of Lee’s Honda. She went around Holzer’s vehicle, struck the driver’s side of Clark’s Escape and the rear of Potthoff’s Subaru, causing significant damage. Debris from Lee’s vehicle flew off and hit Holzer’s vehicle, causing minor damage. Nyseth said she closed her eyes after striking the first vehicle. She wore a seat belt and reported no injuries. Nyseth’s vehicle, Clark’s Escape and Lee’s CRV had to be towed due to disabling damage. Potthoff’s vehicle had functional damage and was towed. Nyseth was cited $111.40 for inattentive driving.