Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Police report details arrest in missing person case

Yefferson Guzman Rodriguez is charged with Kidnapping (Wis. Stat. 940.31(1)(c)), False Imprisonment (Wis. Stat. 940.30), 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety (Wis. Stat. 941.30(1)), Substantial Battery (Wis. Stat. 940.19(2)), Strangulation (Wis. Stat. 940.235), Disorderly Conduct (Wis. Stat. 947.01), and Resist/Obstruct Officer (Wis. Stat. 946.41(1)). Unless a judgment of conviction is entered, the defendant is presumed innocent of all charges.

Yefferson Guzman Rodriguez was arrested by Whitewater police Oct. 16 under multiple felony and misdemeanor counts after, according to Whitewater police, he had held a missing person and threatened her life.

The Whitewater Police Department got a report of a missing person Sunday, Oct. 15. Police said the report came from a person who hadn’t heard from a female individual that had been missing for three days. She told the police that she received a Facebook Messenger text at 9 p.m. that day to come to 363 S. Janesville St. to go pick up the missing person and that she was sent photos of Rodriguez holding a black AK-47 style weapon with no stock with two extended magazines inside the gun. Police were able to track the live ping of the chat to a cell phone at 363 S. Janesville St.

Officer Andrew Wipperman and Officer Ryan Aldrich went to the residence, where they saw movement by a window as they approached the residence. A female came running out of the front door of the house, uncontrollably pointing to the back of the house speaking in Spanish. According to police, she said that Rodriguez ran to the garage, which housed a black vehicle to get his guns after threatening to kill her. The woman told police that he would grab his drugs and his guns and that he would kill her and any cops that came by so he wouldn’t get caught again.

The victim was asked by police where Rodriguez would go, she said it was likely his sister’s place. The police found access to that family member who ended up saying they hadn’t seen or heard from Rodriguez in four days. 

On Monday, Oct. 16, around 10:45 a.m Wipperman was informed of the suspected location of Guzman Rodriguez, the address was 928 W. Highland St. According to the police report, Wipperman saw Rodriguez walking eastbound from W. Highland St. Rodriguez looked back and started walking southbound on S. Prince St. Wipperman walked toward him and yelled at him to stay there, and Rodriguez started to run southbound on S. Prince St. Wipperman chased Rodriguez on foot to the west side of S. Prince St., toward and past Lincoln Elementary school, into the backyard of 308 S. Prince St. where he jumped over a fence. Officer Aldrich caught up and continued the pursuit. Aldrich caught up to Rodriguez and deployed a taser, which took the suspect to the ground, Aldrich then handcuffed Rodriguez, arrested him. Rodriguez was transported to Walworth County Jail. Police conducted a grid search of the area for any weapons Rodriguez might’ve thrown while on the run. 

Rodriguez was charged one felony H count of false imprisonment, one felony H count of strangulation and suffocation, one misdemeanor A count of battery, one misdemeanor B count of disorderly conduct and is in jail with a $100,000 bond.

The Chief of Whitewater Police Department, Dan Meyer responded to how they will address this issue.

“Thankfully this is an usual occurrence here in Whitewater. That said, law enforcement trains to be able to address these types of situations as safely and quickly as possible,” Meyer said. “We also do our best to maintain great working relationships with our law enforcement partners in the area. In this case we received assistance with SWAT and drone resources from local departments almost immediately. That helped us ensure that our response was as safe as possible for both officers and the public. We also worked hand-in-hand with staff from the Whitewater Unified School District and UW-Whitewater to ensure they received timely updates from us so that the best possible public safety decisions could be made.”

According to the police report, the victim explained that she knew Rodriguez through friends from Facebook and they talked two weeks before meeting in person. Rodriguez asked her to be his girlfriend, she said no, which led to him becoming aggressive and put a gun to her head. She met up with him two times. The last time was Friday, Oct. 13 at 6 p.m., after he sent pictures of her family members and threatened to kill her and her family if she didn’t have a friend drop her off to meet him. When she arrived, he was normal until he got back from seeing his friends. He became agitated after using cocaine, marijuana, and mushrooms. 

According to the report, between 4-6 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 14, Rodriguez woke up and asked the victim if she wanted to have sex, she said no. He then tried to take her by force, grabbing her wrists and lifting them up above her head while she said she didn’t want to have sex, he stopped there.

On Sunday, Oct. 15, around 4 a.m., Rodriguez asked to have sex with the victim again, she again declined. He threatened to choke her, and then stab her with a knife. Since she refused he said he would kill her, and pressed a knife up against her stomach twice. When he left the residence, he told her that if she ever left while he was gone he would send his friends from Milwaukee to shoot up her home. 

The victim tried to leave once. She took her things outside and while standing outside, Rodriguez got mad at her, grabbed her by the shoulders, walked her back and hit her, pushed her into the wall and choked. According to the report she lost consciousness twice. They went back inside and he went out to the garage to get guns, the police then arrived and Rodriguez told the victim she can leave but he was going to kill her family if she did. He saw the police and ran out the back door.

According to police, she explained that he had an AK-47 type of rifle, some sort of Uzi gun, and believed he had a third gun but it may have been taken from him. She described a story Rodriguez told her in which he and his friends from Milwaukee shot a Puerto Rican from Milwaukee, and explained that the police from Milwaukee were looking for him which was why he was hiding in Whitewater with his two guns.

City Manager James Weidl, who is working on getting more resources to help the police department, has this to say about the incident: “The incident on October 16 was undoubtedly alarming, but I want to emphasize that it hasn’t deterred our sense of normalcy and community resilience. We are incredibly grateful for the diligent work of our police force and the technological resources at our disposal, which played a crucial role in resolving this situation efficiently. From this event, we’ve learned the importance of continuing to invest in advanced technology. It’s clear that such investments, coupled with skilled manpower, are essential for proactive policing efforts. These are vital steps in enhancing the safety and welfare of our community. Regarding prevention, it’s challenging to anticipate and avert incidents where individuals make harmful choices. However, the swift action of our officers, leading to the successful apprehension of the individual, is a testament to their commitment and efficiency. This ensures that justice is served and reinforces our dedication to public safety.”

Rodriguez was held at Walworth County Jail, with a $100,000 bond, on felony counts of false imprisonment, strangulation and suffocation, misdemeanors of battery and disorderly conduct.

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Dauntae Green, Editor

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