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Man charged with battery of law officers

Robert L. Morarie

A St. Croix Falls man had to be tased after allegedly lunging at a St. Croix County deputy and grabbing him around the throat outside of Ready Randy’s in the Town of Richmond around 9 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10.

Robert L. Morarie, 31, was charged with two felony counts of battery of a peace officer, two counts of resisting an officer and a disorderly conduct charge in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Jan. 12. His bail was set at $10,000. He remains in custody at St. Croix County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint, a St. Croix County deputy was dispatched to the sports bar (1492 131st St.) shortly after 9 p.m. that night for a disturbance call concerning a patron who was allegedly picking fights with other customers.

When the deputy made contact with Morarie, who was said to be walking down a sidewalk on the south side of the building, he appeared to be extremely intoxicated and had a hard time standing up right.

During a pat search of Morarie for weapons, he allegedly began speaking in “gang codes,” calling the deputy vulgarities and raising his arms in a threatening manner, according to the complaint. He was placed in the back of a squad car while deputies questioned patrons in the bar.

A Ready Randy’s employee told police that Morarie was belligerent, picking fights and verbally arguing with his fiancee. Employees cut Morarie off from any more alcohol consumption, according to the complaint.

When the deputy, along with a second officer, returned to the squad and opened the door to communicate with Morarie, Morarie allegedly lunged at the officers and grabbed one around the throat. He then allegedly struck the deputy in the face with his other hand. The deputy reported he was able to remove Morarie’s hand from around his throat, but he and the other deputy had a tough time restraining him because he was “throwing punches.” Several punches connected with his upper body, the deputy reported.

When hand strikes to Morarie’s face failed to subdue him, the second deputy delivered a dry stun from a Taser to Morarie’s upper leg. This also failed to subdue him for more than a few seconds, and he allegedly continued to strike the officers. A second round with the Taser was more effective and the officers were able to subdue Morarie enough to create some distance between him and them, according to the report. Due to Morarie’s position sitting in the back of the squad car, officers were unable to use escort or compliance holds, as stated in the report.

One deputy was then able to release K9 Dex in case the suspect decided to take off on foot. A third deputy then arrived on scene and Morarie was taken into custody without further incident after being evaluated by EMS.

The two deputies were also evaluated by EMS for injuries received in the tussle, according to the report. One was found to have a small cut near his nose. The other had several large abrasions on his throat and difficulty swallowing.

While Morarie was being transported to the St. Croix County Jail, he allegedly tried to get his handcuffed hands in front of him. When he was unsuccessful, he began to bang his head on the K9 kennel area, according to the report. He was allegedly banging his head and screaming during processing at the jail as well.

Morarie is scheduled for a pre-trial conference in St. Croix County Circuit Court at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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