Wisconsin man swings light bulb at officer, shatters it on arm, authorities say

ST. FRANCIS, WI (WITI/CNN) - A Wisconsin man is accused of threatening officers with a fluorescent light bulb after he was kicked out of a bar and taken to the hospital by police for medical clearance.

Eric Kopp, 27, faces charges of resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and battery to a law enforcement officer.

Prosecutors say Kopp became unruly with bartender Michelle Cesar at the Neighborhood Bar in St. Francis, WI, on the night of April 9. He was asked to leave but refused.

Eric Kopp, 27, faces charges of resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and battery to a law enforcement officer. (Source: Milwaukee Police/WITI/Tribune/CNN)
Eric Kopp, 27, faces charges of resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and battery to a law enforcement officer. (Source: Milwaukee Police/WITI/Tribune/CNN) (Source: Milwaukee Police/WITI/Tribune/CNN)

According to witnesses, Kopp had been harassing Cesar and yelling and swearing in the bar. Eventually, he allegedly stood up to get in the woman’s face.

"He told me he wasn't going anywhere. At some point, he leaned over the bar in my face,” Cesar said.

Investigators say Kopp then lunged at Cesar, and she called police. When officers arrived, the situation escalated.

Officers tried to escort Kopp out of the bar, but according to the criminal complaint, the suspect pulled away and pushed one of them. When they tried to take him into custody, the complaint said he resisted, locking his arms and hands and lying on them.

"He was fighting three of them, and eventually, they told him they were going to [use a Taser on] him,” Cesar said.

The officers did use a Taser on Kopp, who ultimately complied with the arrest. He was taken to the hospital for medical clearance, where the complaint says he continually stated, “Just take me to jail.”

At one point, while at the hospital, Kopp allegedly locked himself in the bathroom and began yelling. Officers heard “the sound of breaking” and got a key for the door.

When the door was opened, a security officer yelled, “What are you doing? Get out of the ceiling.”

Kopp was wielding a fluorescent light bulb, holding it like a baseball bat, according to the complaint. He is accused of swinging the bulb at the officers, striking one of them in the arm and face, where it shattered.

Officers were eventually able to take Kopp into custody again. He now faces time behind bars.

"Shock – I had known this customer before, and we've never had any problems with him,” said Warren Johnston, the bar’s owner. "Something that was out of my comprehension. I’d like to see him get the help that he needs."

At Kopp’s initial appearance in court on April 13, his defense team pleaded not guilty to the resisting and disorderly conduct charges, both misdemeanors. Probable cause was found for further proceedings.

A $1,500 signature bond was set, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 30.

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