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Man in beer assault case has been on law enforcement's 'radar'

By   /   September 16, 2011  /   10 Comments

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON — Miles Kristan strolled about the Capitol Rotunda earlier this week toting a bundle of red, heart-shaped balloons.

He glided peacefully among the dozens of protesters calling for Gov. Scott Walker’s political head —  "Recall Walker! Recall Walker!” — during the noon sing-along, a demonstration of solidarity that has become a daily ritual in the rotunda.

On Tuesday, the first day of the fall session, more anti-Walker demonstrators assembled than had in sometime, each trying to make his voice heard, the cacophony of protest song and cheers reverberating through the people’s halls.

A smaller group of tea party members and Walker supporters mostly stood by and watched the show.

Back to Kristan — why was he carrying those balloons?

“To show love for the workers of the state,” he told Wisconsin Reporter. He said there’s been such a balloon in the building since Valentine’s Day, about the time things turned hateful at the Capitol.

Beer battery?

Kristan allegedly showed little love for state Rep. Robin Voss, R-Rochester, on Wednesday night at a Capitol-area bar.

The 26-year-old Kristan, believed to be from Racine but officially listed on police reports as having an unknown address, reportedly approached Voss and fellow Republican state representatives Scott Suder and John Nygren at Inn on the Park, 22 S. Carroll St., shouted out something like “money” and “damn Republicans,” and dumped a beer on Voss’ head, according to a Madison Police report.

The lawmakers told police Kristan swore at them, calling them criminals.

Kristan was accompanied by an unnamed man with a video recorder, the report states.

Voss told police he did not know the suspect's name, but a female Capitol employee, who was with the group, provided police with a name. Police could not locate Kristan on Wednesday night.

Wisconsin Reporter could not find a phone listing for the accused man.

On Thursday afternoon, Kristan turned himself into police. He was cited with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and has an upcoming date in court.

He could face three months in jail and a $1,000 fine if found guilty on the criminal charge, described under state law as anyone engaging in “violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud, or otherwise disorderly conduct … which tends to cause or provoke a disturbance.”

Criminal background

It’s an enhanced charge due to Kristan’s previous troubles with the law, Madison Public Information Officer Joel DeSpain told Wisconsin Reporter on Friday. Police reports say Kristan became agitated and verbally abusive to officers while being warned during a We Are Wisconsin march up State Street parade on Aug. 25.

Kristan was arrested on vehicular charges after he and Elias Groth drove vehicles on State Street during a parade. Vehicular traffic generally is prohibited on the pedestrian-friendly street.

“Kristan was described as being visibly upset, slamming his hands on his vehicle, and making statements (in) reference the admonition by police to being equal with that of the feces of male steer!” stated the police report, obtained by Wisconsin Reporter.

The two were warned.

Later, police found Kristan and Groth driving their vehicles behind the parade processional, the report states. Officers stopped both vehicles, and cited the men.

“Kristan felt that he had been singled out, and enforcement options were unfairly selective,” the report states. “Madison Police did not have any other issues with other parade participants during this event.”

DeSpain said Kristan has a record of violations, including a charge of obstructing justice, and he has received a ticket for graffiti and has been a suspect in at least one other property crime.

“He’s been on our radar, even as we’ve arrested him and cited him in August and arrested him" Thursday, the department spokesman said.

Free speech too far?

Voss told police Kristan has repeatedly harassed him since February.

Wisconsin Reporter could not reach the lawmaker for comment Friday, but he did release a statement regarding the reported assault.

“While I have long been a proponent of free speech, it’s a shame when the expression turns into criminal behavior,” Voss said. “Legislators are regularly harassed by certain (protesters) and this is an unfortunate reminder of what lawmakers have to put up with every day in Madison."

The spring legislative session, which witnessed tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets around the Capitol, included several disturbance arrests and some reports of harassment and threats.

State Rep. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said Madison law enforcement is partially to blame for what he describes as the escalation of disorderly and dangerous conduct by protesters around the Capitol. He said top law enforcement have been "more interested in cooperating with protesters than enforcing the law."

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray said in a statement that he would not comment on the political nature of the protests.

On Tuesday, walking the rotunda with his string of balloons, Kristan spoke confidently of a campaign to recall Walker, and praised the “respectful conversations” he’d had with “tea party people.”

“I think the citizens can find common things to agree on,” he said, “but I don’t know about the ruling political party in this state compromising on anything.”

The MacIver Institute, a conservative Madison think tank, grabbed a video interview with Nass that was made available late Friday.


  • Bobbi

    These particular protestors, at this point, need to be banned from the Capitol building and they need to stop following our lawmakers around harassing them. If they think they are doing good for whatever their cause is, they can think again as it only turns people off. They are getting more and more out of control and aggressive. I wonder if they even know what they are protesting. Do any of them have jobs?

    Miles Kristan, IMO, should have been charged with felony assault of a lawmaker, as his intent was there even if it was just beer. The intent was to, I feel, legally assault Robin Voss. If things escalate further, I fear a Gabrielle Giffords type incident occurring here in Wisconsin and no one wants that.

  • Kathryn

    A precident was set last winter when the protests were going in full force. Neither the Capitol Police nor the Madison Police or Sherriffs’ Departments did their JOBS when the protests got out of hand!

    The First Amendment gaurentees the Right of Free Speech and the Right of Redress but these people more than crossed the line many times with no action by any of the above mentioned law enforcement agencies taking appropriate action.

    When my daughter graduated from college in the 90’s her first job was in Madison. She referred to that city as “SEVENTEEN SQUARE MILES, SURROUNDED BY REALITY”! I see nothing has changed!

  • Kathryn

    I DO have a question…………..who is supporting this Miles Kristan?

    Is he on welfare?

    Is he on SSI?

    Is he being paid by a union or some group to carry on in this manner?

    Does anyone else know that he is also known as the “PINK DRESS GUY”?!?!? He wears a pink dress and harrasses people in and around the Capitol.

    I, for one, would love to know how he feeds, houses and clothes himself. [the article said he also has a car….how is he can purchase gas???? …….just sayin’!]

  • Lynnda

    Excellent point. I’d like to know how a lot of the full time protestors are getting paid. Normal, good, hard-working Americans do not have hours and hours or days or weeks or months to hang around the capitol and spend all of their time harrassing other people. This has to stop! I wish law enforcement would get tough on these people. Enough is more than enough. A little jail time would do him some good. Imagine if the opposite had occured and Voss had lost his patience (at least understandable) and dumped a beer on Kristan. Then what would happen? Those of you who don’t believe that a double standard exists regarding the left or right, then contemplate that one.

  • Charie

    There were no politics involved in the Loughner shooting at the Gabrielle Giffords’ event. He was a psycho, plain and simple! That is, if there’s anything simple about a psycho. This “pink dress guy” has a political agenda. I, too, would like to know how he lives without visible means of support. Or any of that rabble, for that matter.

  • Irish Mom

    All good points. My fear is that the police do not want to make “martyr” of him and give the rabble- rousers more ammunition to garner sympathy. It really puts the officers in an untenable position. Unfortunately that also means that something bad would have to happen before the no-win situation gets resolved.

    Sadly this also reflects poorly on the city of Madison–sort of like another Detroit–who wants to locate there?

    It also reflects on the University–just read an account of the unbalanced student population, favoring the Hispanic students, and the disruption they caused there for a speaker. I know none of my grandchildren will ever go there!

  • David Delahunt

    The Dems and “Unionistas” must be soooo proud of this on-going, thug-like behavior.

    Apparently this crowd of hoodlums has absolutely no shame!!

  • Pamela

    probably his parents or welfare or unemployment

  • Pamela

    I see some democrats are commenting against Miles Kristen. Well this is what you get when you promote violence.Especially the remarks of Hoffa (“take the Sons of B****s out!) And you too were doing these type of things when you were roosting in the Capitol, harrassing businesses and promoting boycotts of businesses etc. But now when you found out your nasty actions caused backlash of being called thugs(accurate description of libs) now you want to distance yourself from those you incited. All of these liberals need to reap what you sowed when you incited the more gullable of the citizenry.

  • Stevenson Steve

    I think that it is time to call in the Wisconsin National Guard to clear the Capital of those trouble makers once and for all. It has already costs the tax payers enough in repairs and overtime for police officers.