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Kenosha County Eye

Judge Sends Man Responsible For Kwik Trip Terror Incident To Prison

Jonathan Petersen Leaves Court Today After His Sentencing
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

A 20-year-old Kenosha man who terrorized 16 people inside of a Somers Kwik Trip is headed to prison after his sentencing today. On June 13, 2022 Jonathan J. Petersen entered the gas station with a knife and a fake rifle. The 16 people inside, however, believed the rifle was very real. Most of them feared for their lives. Some hid in a walk-in cooler, and others, in an office. The intended victim, was a woman who had rejected Petersen’s romantic advances months before. He then began to stalk her. On April 18, 2022, she was granted a restraining order against Petersen. For at least two months, Petersen planned this horrendous event.

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At today’s hearing, an agreement was reached between the State of Wisconsin and Petersen. Petersen was initially charged with 16 counts of terrorist threats, – one for each person in the store, and violation of a temporary restraining order – both with the use of a dangerous weapon enhancers. Petersen faced more than 100 years in prison. According to the agreement, Petersen plead guilty today to stalking, two counts of making terrorist threats, and false imprisonment, all with use of a dangerous weapon enhancers. The prosecution agreed to recommend prison, but not any specific length.

The woman addressed the court first, saying “Your honor, for the past year, I’ve been trying to get far away from the defendant, Jonathan Petersen. No matter what I’ve done, he has tracked me down. He has caused me great anxiety. Finally, he’s been locked up and I’ve got a little bit of peace, knowing that he can’t come looking for me.” She then asked the judge to send Petersen to prison.

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The woman’s father then addressed the court and told Judge Milisauskas that his daughter hasn’t been the same since the event. He said that his daughter will only have peace if he is locked away. He asked the court to send Petersen to prison for five years.

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Rosa Delgado
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Assistant District Attorney Rosa Delgado addressed the court and told a story about an obsessive man who couldn’t take “no” for an answer. Delgado mentioned the restraining order was “was just a piece of paper” and something horrible happened after the order was granted.

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She detailed the June 13, 2022 incident stating that Petersen walked into the Kwik Trip looking for the woman and she tried to hide, but he found her. He was holding a rifle and a knife and made suicidal and homicidal statements to her. He threatened to shoot anyone who came near them. “The terror that was inflicted on many members of the community….no other sentence would be appropriate here but a prison sentence.”

Criminal Defense Attorney Patrick Cafferty
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Defense attorney Patrick Cafferty argued for up to a year in jail and probation, stressing the defendant’s lack of a criminal history and that he didn’t physically hurt anyone. He stated that Petersen is remorseful and has mental health issues.

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Jonathan Petersen Addressing The Court Today After His Sentencing
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Petersen then made a statement. He apologized to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department and offered his sincere gratitude for the deputies keeping him safe and ending the incident peacefully. He claimed that he is “much better now” after serving more than 8 months in jail.

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Anthony Milisauskas
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

Kenosha County Circuit Court Judge Anthony Milisauskas stressed just how serious the crimes were. “There were two weapons. There was a knife, and there was a rifle. And I know the rifle was kinda, the term “fake”, but unfortunately for the victims, and the people at the gas station, they had no clue that this was a fake rifle….Every day you turn on the news and you see a mass shooting…What did these poor people think when he walked into Kwik Trip with a something that looked like a rifle and a knife?…They were scared for their lives. He pointed the gun at her the entire time he spoke to her, now that’s terror…. The terror that he inflicted on the victims is way too serious here, and I’m not gonna take a chance for the community.” With that, he sentenced Petersen to 5.5 years in prison and 6 years of extended supervision.

Jonathan Petersen Being Leaves Court Today After His Sentencing
(Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

After the sentence was handed down, a deputy escorted Petersen away, but had to tell him many times not to look at the people in the gallery. Petersen had 254 credit for time served so he will go to prison for about 4 years and 10 months. He is to have no contact with any of the victims after he is released.

Sergeant Sanchez and Sergeant Coultrip

Both defense attorney Patrick Cafferty and Petersen both were very happy with the outcome of the potentially fatal incident. They seem to realize how lucky Petersen is to be alive. According to reports, the first two deputies to arrive, went into the gas station alone. Sergeant Sanchez and Deputy Coultrip, who has since been promoted to Sergeant, thought the gun was real and entered the gas station with their rifles. They shouted commands at Petersen but he didn’t comply. Deputy Coultrip switched from his rifle to his taser as Sergeant Sanchez kept lethal cover on the suspect. Deputy Coultrip then deployed his taser, but it didn’t make contact due to loose clothing. The second time was successful. Sgt. Sanchez then kicked the knife away and Petersen was taken into custody and handcuffed. Everyone escaped the incident alive and unharmed, at least physically, due to theses two deputies. This isn’t the first time Deputy Coultrip saved a life. He saved a man who fell through the ice in 2020. Sergeant Sanchez is a former Marine and on the department’s SWAT team. Sheriff David Zoerner was made aware of the sentencing today and Petersen’s statements thanking his deputies for saving his life. Even though he was telling the deputies to kill him, that is the last thing they wanted to do according to the Sheriff.

Kenosha County Sheriff David W. Zoerner
(File Photo by Kevin Mathewson, Kenosha County Eye)

“I appreciate the defendant thanking the responding deputies for their ability to end this situation with a safe resolution.  Mental health is a crucial aspect of law enforcement and the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Office is committed to serving our community, always using the least amount of force necessary.

The deputies’ response was rapid, tactically sound, and highly effective.  The store was full of traumatized victims.  Several more deputies and detectives responded to the scene to assist the witnesses and victims following the traumatic incident.  I would like to thank these deputies as well as all of the Sheriff’s Department staff that continually put themselves in harms way for our community.”


  • Kevin Mathewson

    Kevin Mathewson is a disciple of Christ, husband and a father to two wonderful children. Mathewson was born and raised in Lake County, IL and worked as a police & fire dispatcher from 2005 to 2010 in Round Lake Beach, IL. Mathewson moved to Kenosha County in 2006, later being elected to the position of Alderman of the 8th District in 2012 and 2016. Mathewson is a private investigator, security contractor, journalist, and photographer. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching movies, camping and boating. His favorite amendment is the second, followed closely by the first. He loves his country and community.


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35 Responses

  1. Good thing this Judge handed out a real sentence. Look into the “sentence” that the bozo in charge, Rossell, handed out to the lady at the old PDQ on highway H and highway 50 handed out. A $10 fine for chaining the door shut and threatening to blow the place up with her son if I’m not mistaken.

  2. If he’s doing much better after 8 months, then he should be doing lots lots much better after a few years. If a restraining order isn’t enough of a wake up call to knock it off, they are exactly right for saying he needs to be physically separated from society.

      1. Um, she was the one at work, not him. You should learn how to put a sentence together, spell and puncuate. Believe me, no girl will be playing you for money.

      2. i knew this man and he was incredibly ill. this girl had been harassed by him for so long, while she had a boyfriend. she gave him no attention, she was being stalked, and she was scared.

    1. Unfortunately woman on social media tend to lead young men on and mentally abuse them. Then when that person wants to talk to them they refuse and get the cops to file restraining orders.

      I bet she has restraining orders on multiple people. I know he deserves his sentence but he never took his eyes off her it is clear she mentally abused this young man. People don’t do these things for no reason.

      1. She was the one at work, not him. Clearly he can’t hold a job if the Navy rejected him. You should learn how to put a sentence together, spell and puncuate. Believe me, no girl will ever play you for your money.

        1. fool, the chick works at a gas station prob making less than 10$ an hour.

          anyone working a low life job such as that couldnt give less of a crap abt what it takes to put extra money in their pocket.

          also the fact that you just said that a girl would never play a man for their money shows how much of a fantasy world you must think you live in because take it from actual men, women dont care abt crap other than money, cars, and clothes

      2. none of this happened they had no contact other than one social media app and she had blocked him when he went to far. it started as a (not even) friendship she was being polite all the while having a boyfriend. she was harassed by him, do not give him the benefit of the doubt he was mentally ill. i worked with both of them.

  3. This guy sounds mentally unstable. We need to have state mental hospitals again. Without being properly treated, he’ll get out of prison and do something worse. So many people in jail/prison that need mental help. Even old men with dementia are in Kenosha’s jails for theft.

    1. Of course he’s mentally unstable, but that doesn’t make it hurt less if he snaps and kills somebody because we left him running around. One of the few really bad things at the Reagan years, is that everybody bought into and Reagan signed, legislation where we didn’t have to hold play unstable people against their will, because they deserved to be free. Kind of like we do with coyotes running around attacking small livestock.

      1. These mentally unstable people don’t do things unprovoked. its a shame that the story doesn’t show how young woman mentally abuse these young men and lead them on until they snap.

        He didn’t take his eyes off her even with when the cops had a gun to his back. You think that was simply over her not going on a date with him. No way! the cause of these mental breakdowns need to be addressed as well

  4. Five years is a joke. Considering it sounds like his intended victim has PTSD, and from personal experience, I can say that is a life sentence, way I see it, that little snot stain on society should get at least a life sentence as well. Or bring back the death penalty. Wisconsin wussed out on that early, maybe we should bring it back.

    1. As horrible as his crime was to the defendants, if we are going to start turning over the state constitution to allow capital punishment, that’s going to be a lot more difficult if we actually plan on using it on people who brandish toy rifles

      1. Hmmm, good point. Much as I take a hardline stance against violent crime, as I also do with drug dealing and trafficking, you do make a good point about executing people who terrorize others with toy or replica weapons. Much as psychological damage can be worse than physical damage, physical wounds heal, psych damage can be for life, and in my case, it is. But, thinking on it, I am not entirely sure now that is a rabbit hole that society should go down.

  5. Mental health needs to be addressed more than ever! Its a shame that this judge decided to make an example of a 19 year old kid who was in desperate need of help, regardless of his family and lawyer pleading with him. They could have put him in an in house treatment facility to address his issues while keeping the public so called “safe”. No help was given to him in jail either despite his desperate pleas, and when things became too much for him to handle, the guards would just throw him in “the hole” for days at a time. The kid also has crohn’s disease and couldn’t go relieve his bowels with the privacy of a sheet over his lap…he got written up for doing so!
    Granted the girl did not deserve to go through this trauma, but what they didn’t mention is how she provoked him and played with his emotions. Even social media will show her “not so innocent 22 year old side “….
    Pretending that mental disease doesn’t exist and continuing to sweep it under the rug is never going to solve anything! What does giving someone a 500,000 bond, and 5 years in prison going to solve when there are people doing horrible, horrible things in this world and only getting a 20,000 bond?
    I hope that judge sleeps well at night knowing that…

    1. I agree! There are always two sides to every story. He needs proper treatment and it doesn’t seem like he is receiving any at all. That is what should be happening here! Prayers for everyone involved.

    2. Mental health is of no concern truly! Intensive in patient treatment for his mental health and strict house arrest would have done more for this boy. Smh. Now he sits in jail and gets no help.

  6. Mental health resources are needed immediately for all. I am so sorry for this child and I can only imagine the remorse he feels. What he did was wrong but it is obvious he was hurting and needed help.

  7. Mental Health is a real issue in society! The fact of the matter is, He had a fake rifle so obviously his intentions were not to commit a mass murder, on that note that also demonstrates his state of mind! As well as him asking for police officers to shoot and kill him at time of this occurrence! He should have received mental Health care at immediate time of arrest, as suicide by definition is poor mental health. I am saddened that this young man is being treated as someone who had intent on committing a mass murder although on that same note has killed no one! This sentence is ridiculous.

  8. Um, tough situation. What he did was definitely wrong but we are only getting one side of the story. This young man has problems that are not being dealt with. He is a very immature young man and prison time is not going to help him, it probably will harden him forever. So sad. I have dealt with a son who suffers mental illness and am just thankful he was able to get the help he needed to become the man I am so proud of today. I can only pray for Joshua Peterson that he gets the same chance. And I hope his victims can also receive the help they need to deal with this.

  9. If this kid was going after these certain people obviously he was being bullied and didn’t know how to go to someone for help on how to deal with this situation. How sad he should have been evaluated right away after saying he wanted them officers to shoot him it shows clearly something is wrong . Prison won’t help him what so ever . He didn’t even touch anyone he wanted to scare her for all the damage she did to him . How stupid go catch the real killers out there!!! Free Jonathan!!!!!

    1. he was not bullied lol… she was being polite and when things escalated she got scared and tried to keep him away legally. it was harassment. period.

  10. This is an unfortunate situation.
    I understand the sentence, however, what are they doing to address his mental health? That was not mentioned.
    Without the therapy/meds he may need, the prison time is not a solution.
    I would love to hear his side of the story. From what I understand, the girl was playing games with him until he just snapped. Who is real the victim here?
    I applaud the Kenosha police department for using minimal force, and quickly recognizing there was a mental health issue at hand.
    God bless all people involved. Prayers sent to this young man and his grieving family.

  11. Jonathan has not gotten the help he needed and still needs. He has been bullied endlessly. He comes from good folks. He acted and will pay for his miss deals but I worry he will not get tge help he needs to come out on the otherwise a better person. I hope the female that has claimed all the abuse and stalking get help too. I am certain she played a significant role in the decent of Jon into this deep dark hole.

    Society needs to step up mental health services for ALL and not villanize then for something they clearly cannot control on their own.

    God speed Jon. You are loved. You will make it.

  12. Update: Mr. Jonathan is not is the type of prison most of you are all thinking of.

    He is in a Correctional Facility Getting the help he needs.

    This is the name of the facility he is in: Racine Youthful Offender Correctional Facility.

    It is a facility for young men, and is nothing like a state prison

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