Crime

Onalaska woman charged with harboring man who threatened daughter

Onalaska woman charged with harboring...

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - Debra Kepler, 56, of Onalaska, has been charged harboring a man who threatened her daughter with a gun last month. 

According to police reports, 33-year-old Joshua Kletzke threatened his ex-girlfriend with a gun Jan. 17 when she refused to help him after he locked his keys in his car in the parking lot of Festival Foods in Onalaska.

When police arrived, Kletzke took off in the woman’s car, crashed into a snowbank and fled on foot, police said. Officers said they found a 9mm handgun inside Kletzke’s car.

Kepler, the mother of Kletzke's ex-girlfriend, told officers that Kletzke was “not in his right mind and all messed up on drugs,” but said she and her daughter wanted to go home. According to a criminal complaint, when the officer asked if he could follow up after Kletzke was found, Kepler said she “didn’t want cops in her neighborhood.”

State investigators determined that Kletzke’s phone was being used at Kepler’s Onalaska residence.

While police were watching the Fifth Avenue home, someone left the driveway in a Pontiac Sunfire at a high rate of speed, losing police on the city’s north side, authorities said. Officers returned to the home, where Kepler said Kletzke had grabbed the keys and taken off in the car.

According to the complaint, Kepler eventually admitted to picking up Kletzke the previous night after he fled police and taking him to her home.

Kletzke was arrested Jan. 26 in Houston County, Minnesota and is still in the Houston County jail.


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