Kenosha Circuit Court Commissioner Loren Keating today assigned a 19-year-old Kenosha man, Jonathan Petersen, a $500,000 cash bond for a series of very serious criminal allegations. Petersen was charged today with 16 counts (one count for each of the employees and patrons inside Kwik Trip at the time) of “Terrorist Threats.” Each of the 16 counts also includes a “dangerous weapon” modifier that increases the maximum prison sentence from 2 years to 6 years for each count. Petersen was also charged with the violation of a restraining order. Assistant Kenosha District Attorney Alex Huber asked for a $100,000 cash bail.
In all, Petersen is facing almost 100 years of prison time for his alleged actions on Monday, June 13, 2022. Police and prosecutors say that 9-1-1 dispatchers received multiple calls about a man inside a Somers Kwik Trip with a rifle. That man, they say, was Jonathan Petersen and was likely targeting a 20-year old woman who had obtained a temporary restraining order against Petersen on April 11, 2022 and a 4-year order on April 18, 2022 in front of Commissioner Keating where they both testified. She alleged that he stalked and harassed her for months starting when they worked together at Pick N Save.
When police arrived, Petersen was holding a rifle and a knife. He was close to the 20-year old woman. According to the 8-page criminal complaint, many of the witnesses heard Petersen threatening to kill people in the store and also to commit suicide. Kenosha County Sheriff’s deputies were able to successfully avoid a suicide-by-cop and tasered Petersen to subdue him. He was taken into custody. A 49-year old man, who KCE is not identifying, was in the gas station to use the ATM, was able to escape the store. He spoke today in front of the court, asking for a higher bond than the $100,000 amount requested by prosecutors. “I don’t have a problem with guns, I own guns. But to be face to face and point one at another person?” The 20-year old woman, who KCE is not identifying, had the restraining order against Petersen and was the likely target, also spoke to the court. “I don’t feel safe. Please give him more than a $100,000 bond or no bond.” Commissioner Keating politley corrected the woman. In Wisconsin there must be a cash bond issued. One cannot be held “without bond.” Notwithstanding, Keating ordered Petersen to come up with a half million dollars if he wants to be released before trial. The parents of the defendant told deputies that they wanted to address the court, but “Marsy’s Law”, a Wisconsin Constitutional amendment only allows alleged victims to address a court during hearings such as an initial appearance.
The rifle turned out to be an air-soft gun, not a real rifle, but that doesn’t change the way the victims would have been traumatized. Petersen gave a full confession to police, admitting that he had planned this for many months. He also planned to go to his previous place of employment, Pick N Save, to target someone he had a problem with there as well.
Petersen is next due in court on June 23, 2022 for a preliminary hearing.