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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Mother Of Suspect Wished, Mayor Barrett Hadn’t Intervene
Suspect charged, and mayor recovering from injuries sustained from a tire iron
By H. Nelson Goodson
Updated: August 20, 2009
Milwaukee – On Thursday, Anthony J. Peters, 20, was charged with two felony counts of first-degree reckless injury and theft, and two misdemeanors. The criminal complaint states, Peters admitted to police he hit Mayor Tom Barrett various times with an 18 inch Chrysler tire iron/crowbar after he “freaked out” on him. $100,000 cash bail was set for Peters and is facing more than 40 years in prison, if convicted, according to John Chisholm, Milwaukee County District Attorney.
On Wednesday, Mayor Barrett, 55, held his first press conference in front of his residence since being assaulted last Saturday. Barrett thanked his supporters, and described the beating incident, as “Things got very, very ugly, very, very quickly.” The mayor had a cast on his right hand, had a scar on his face and stitches on his head. Barrett lost two teeth, and a back molar was chipped to the base, had a broken hand, which required surgery, and suffered head injuries in the attack.
Danita Brisk, the suspect’s mother said, she believes the mayor must have provoked her son, and wished he hadn’t intervene, and “if it would have been any other individual besides the mayor…I mean, it wouldn’t even had hit the news. My son probably wouldn’t have been arrested. None of this would even be happening,” said Brisk; and she added that her son suffers from bipolar disorder and had not taken his medicine that day, and is borderline psychotic.
Barrett responded to Brisk’s comments as, “very bizarre.” Barrett would not go into details of the incident or comment further about the incident.
On Monday, Barrett was released from the hospital. President Barack Obama had talked to Barrett earlier in the day and commended him for his bravery.
Governor Jim Doyle visited Barrett on Sunday. Colleagues and public officials are hailing Barrett as a Good Samaritan, who help prevent a woman and a child from potential harm.
Last Sunday, Peters was arrested at about 1 p.m. by police in the 1700 block of W. State St. in connection with Saturday’s night iron/crowbar beating of Mayor Barrett. Barrett was attending the Wisconsin State Fair with family members and did not have his assigned police bodyguard at the time of the attack.
Barrett was leaving at about 10:45 p.m. from the Wisconsin State Fair with family members when he noticed Peters having an altercation with several people in the 8800 block of W. Orchard St. in West Allis. A woman was crying out for help and trying to protect her 1-year-old granddaughter from Peters, when Barrett came to their aid. Peters was apparently distraught that he was not allowed to see his daughter. Peters who weighs at least 260 lbs. seemed intoxicated, threaten to shoot himself and others, and had taken a cell phone from a woman he was arguing with, according to police.
Barrett intervene to help qualm the domestic situation and was trying to call 911, when Peters took out an 18 inch Chrysler tire iron/crowbar and began to beat Barrett. Barrett managed to punch Peters before he fled the scene. West Allis police responded to the 911 incident, and Barrett was taken to Froedtert Hospital.
Mayor Barrett spent at least two days recovering at the hospital. Despite the serious injuries, Barrett is expected to fully recover. Barrett's injuries to the back of his head had to be stapled shut, and had plastic surgery due to a significant cut to the face.
Peters was described as a Native American originally from Lac Du Flambeau, Wisconsin, and during a press conference on Sunday afternoon Milwaukee Police Chief Edward A. Flynn said, "Last night, Peters was a totally violent and vicious thug, and that's how he behaved."