By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter
MADISON — A state senator’s son who claims he was attacked by two college-aged men for political reasons after they attempted to swipe his Romney yard sign has asked investigators to call off the investigation.
In a case file obtained by Wisconsin Reporter, Whitewater police say they will suspend their probe into the reported battery of Sean Kedzie after investigators told Kedzie a suspect he identified didn’t check out.
On Dec. 4, Kedzie called Detective Jessamy Flaherty saying that, “I’m done with it,” that suspending the investigation was “for the best,” according to the police report.
Kedzie, son of state Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-Elkhorn, had identified one of the two suspects whom he claimed brutally beat him outside his residence in the early morning hours of Oct. 19.
Kedzie told police and several members of the media that two white males, approximately 6-foot tall and 185 pounds, attacked him after he confronted them about taking his Mitt Romney sign.
In an interview with Wisconsin Reporter a few days after the alleged incident, Kedzie said the men wrestled him to the ground, put him in a chokehold and screamed, “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan suck!” and other politically charged invectives.
“It went from zero to 60 with the flip of the switch,” he said. “I never really stood a chance. These guys must have had in their minds what they were going to do when I walked up to them.”
He identified his alleged attacker as Max R. Hey, a member of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater soccer team, according to the police report. Kedzie told police that one of his attackers referred to the other as “Max.” Kedzie, who said he had never met the suspects before the night in question, tracked down and identified Hey on Facebook.
While the police report notes Kedzie’s pronounced facial injuries following the alleged assault, and while witnesses in the neighborhood stated they saw two men punching Kedzie while he was on the ground nearly to the point of incapacitation, no one other than Kedzie could positively identify a suspect.
Subsequent interviews with Hey, including a layered voice truth analysis (lie-detector test), the suspect told investigators that he was at home at the time of the reported attack. A number of friends and associates corroborated his story, as did a police review of Hey’s phone records, according to the police report. And investigators said they found no evidence of the kind of marks on Hey’s hands that would indicate he was involved in such a physical confrontation.
Witnesses said they heard nothing political uttered at the scene of the attack, only the attackers saying Kedzie was a “stupid (expletive deleted),” and that he shouldn’t have “picked a fight with two guys.”
Still, Kedzie told police he was “100 percent” certain of his attacker after identifying Hey in a photo lineup, according to the report.
Hey, in a final interview with police, said he believed the whole matter had turned political, but not in the way Kedzie had presented the attack.
“Hey asked if Kedzie had been given a lie detector test,” the police report notes. “Hey stated that he believed that there was too much emphasis being put on Sean Kedzie’s word, and stated that he thought it was all because of politics and because Kedzie’s father was a state senator.”
Flaherty told Hey that he was just following the evidence and “if he was innocent, then the evidence would help prove that,” according to the detective’s report.
“Hey indicated that he was ‘upset’ that he had to ‘prove’ he was innocent in something as serious as this investigation.” Flaherty stated.
On Nov. 29, after verifying Hey’s phone records and corroborating his alibi, police told Hey they didn’t have a suspect.
After mulling it over, Kedzie called the investigator and said the “odds are against me,” and “at this point the evidence is backing Max’s favor,” the report notes.
Asked if he wanted the Walworth County District Attorney to review the case, Kedzie said he wanted to “just let it be done.”
Contact M.D. Kittle at [email protected]
— Edited by Kelly Carson, [email protected]