Nathan (#photochad) DeBruin, is a Kenosha freelance photographer, known for being a popular witness in the Rittenhouse murder trial. He took hundreds of photos during the Kenosha riots of 2020. These photos included evidence of arson and other crimes. DeBruin told the Kenosha County Eye that he is “disappointed” with Kenosha Defense Attorney Michael Barth. Today, Barth filed a three-page motion in Kenosha Circuit Court asking Judge Schroeder to lower the bond of his client, Joshua Ziminski. Ziminski was scheduled to go to trial yesterday for multiple charges involving rioting including arson. While walking into the court house at 8:45am, there was an exchange between Ziminski, and DeBruin, a witness subpoenaed to testify against him at trial. DeBruin told Deputies immediately and notified his attorney, Terry Rose. Rose told Judge Schroeder about this incident telling him that Ziminski yelled at DeBruin to stop multiple times and repeated that he wanted to see a large photo that DeBruin held. “That’s not me in the photo!” Ziminski allegedly said. DeBruin felt intimidated by Ziminski, who stands at 6′ 5″ with satanic tattoos on his face, neck and head. DeBruin was visibly shaking when he met up with his attorney outside the court room.
Rose told the judge what had happened, and Schroeder ordered a nearby deputy to take Ziminski into custody on a $14,000 bond.
DeBruin said, “Ziminski was clearly trying to intimidate me. Although I was taken by surprise and shaken up, I want the community to know I will not be intimidated by him either while in jail, or not. I was subpoenaed to testify and tell the truth and that is exactly what I plan to do.”
In his 3-page motion to reduce Ziminski’s bond from $14,000 to $1,000, Barth launched several serious attacks against DeBruin. He suggests that DeBruin made up the incident to garner sympathy to raise money for personal gain saying:
“Unfortunately Ziminski was not given the opportunity to show the Court that DeBruin has used his status as a witness in the Rittenhouse and the Ziminski cases to crowd source for money.”
“That’s completely false. I am not trying to profit from this. I’m just trying to get by,” said DeBruin. “I watched a man lose his life, and another get seriously injured less than 6 feet from by eyes. Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. I’ve been seeing a therapist and the treatment is expensive. With the new year, I now have another deductible to meet.” DeBruin met with prosecutor T. Clair Binger before the Rittenhouse trial and he felt intimidated when he was asked to change his statement and refused. Then, during the trial, DeBruin was badgered by ADA James Kraus. After the trial, DeBruin also told us about multiple occasions while at work when he was cornered and threatened by strangers. “You support a murderer!” a random woman and her husband shouted after they cornered DeBruin in a retail store where he was working. Even while off the clock, DeBruin was harassed many times in public. DeBruin remembered an incident when he was eating dinner with his long-time girlfriend at a local restaurant when another table told his waitress not to serve him. “I have received a lot of support from strangers as well, but my mental health was starting to diminish.” DeBruin then took an unpaid leave from from his full-time job as a retail merchandiser. He would eventually get short-term disability but it was less than half his normal salary. His long-time live-in girlfriend is now working three jobs to help living expenses. “My community and people from all over the world graciously donated money to me to help me get by during the absolute toughest time in my life. I may look upbeat and happy all of the time, but inside, I’m hurting a lot.”
Today, Kyle Rittenhouse’s team donated $1,000 to DeBruin’s living expenses saying “Stay fearless. Don’t let these punks intimidate you. Thank you for being the principled man you are.”
DeBruin is hoping that his mental health treatment will be successful enough so that he can return to work, but for now, he says he wants to get well.
We obtained the video footage from the courthouse and the video does support DeBruin’s account of what happened. This author was a witness and took video as well as DeBruin’s girlfriend. The incident is under review and the Sheriff’s department is investigating. ADA T. Clair Binger will decide if Ziminski will face additional charges.
If you want to help Nathan and his family, please use this link.