Man accused of punching pastor charged with felony

Grafton resident who demanded money at church faces attempted robbery charge
Ozaukee Press staff

A 34-year-old man accused of entering a Grafton church and demanding money before punching the pastor who asked him to leave last week has been charged with attempted robbery with the use of force.

In addition to the felony, Grafton resident Jesse G. Guten faces misdemeanor charges of battery, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer in Ozaukee County Circuit Court.

According to the criminal complaint, officers who were called to New Life Church at 7:40 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, were told by the church’s pastor that a man later identified as Guten, who had been at the church before, had just run from the lobby after punching him.

A day earlier, the pastor said, Guten came to the church and was “aggressively” asking for money, particularly from women leaving the church.

Guten left, but returned on Wednesday, prompting a church member to alert the pastor, who said that when he greeted him Guten demanded money, the complaint states.

The pastor said Guten appeared agitated and seemed to be trying to antagonize him by using his hand to swipe toward his face as if he was going slap him.

The pastor then told Guten to leave, which is when Guten punched him, then ran from the church and east on Beech Street, according to the complaint.

A member of the church took a photo of Guten and gave it to officers, who found him at Redhead’s Tavern in Grafton, where Guten had told other patrons he had been in a fight at a church, the complaint states.

Guten refused to stand up when officers ordered him to do so, then resisted their attempts to handcuff him. Eventually, officers took him to the ground and handcuffed Guten as he yelled to his girlfriend to call his lawyer, according to the complaint.

Officers later reviewed surveillance video that showed Guten hitting the pastor, knocking his glasses off his face.

Guten is currently free in lieu of $2,500 bail. Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Steve Cain ordered him not to have contact with the church or any of its members or employees.

Attempted robbery with the use of force is punishable by a maximum 10 years in prison and five years of extended supervision.




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