Jury finds festival goer guilty of assaulting police officer.

May 26, 2018

Anthony Wachs with his attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz.

Jury finds festival goer guilty of assaulting police officer.

#OceanaCountyCrime

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — A 21-year-old Plainfield, Illinois man was found guilty of a felony of assaulting a police officer causing injury following a two-day jury trial in 27th Circuit Court Friday, May 25.

The jury reached a “not guilty” verdict for Anthony J. Wachs for his second charge of attempted unlawful driving away of an automobile (car theft).

The case stems from an incident during last year’s Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury when Wachs punched Rothbury Police Officer Ethan Walker in the face, breaking his nose.

Rothbury Police Officer Ethan Walker.

It was alleged that Wachs attempted to steal Walker’s patrol car before breaking his nose, July 1, outside the Electric Forest Festival.

According to testimony during the trial, Wachs was high on LSD and “juice,” which is a liquid form of Molly.

The jury heard testimony from Officer Walker, along with Montague Police Officer Tom Walicki and Montague Police Chief Robert Rought, who were both working for RPD that night. They also heard testimony from three paramedics who were working in the festival’s medical tent, as well as Dr. Bryan Judge, MD, a toxicology expert, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

“A statement made to the police was introduced at trial that the defendant admitted to using LSD and ‘juice,’ which we interpreted as a liquid version of Molly,” Bizon said.

“He had no idea where he was,” Walicki testified. Wachs, who been released from the festival medical tent, was later ejected from the event after security personnel took his wristband from him.

“He was wandering around on private property behind a residence,”

Wachs

Walicki testified.

Wachs asked if Officer Walker was OK just as he arrived at the Oceana County Jail in his patrol car, Walicki said.

The officer explained that the Rothbury Police Department has “perimeter patrol” outside the venue, but not “inside patrol.” The Michigan State Police is hired by the festival to patrol the event, which attracts approximately 50,000 people from across the country each year.

The jury took just over a half hour to reach a verdict Friday.

Wachs, who is free on a $10,000/cash/surety/10 percent bond, will be sentenced in July. He is represented by defense attorney Julie Springstead Waltz.

The maximum penalty for assaulting a police officer causing injuring is four years in prison. Sentencing guidelines in the case 0-3 months, Bizon said.

This year’s Electric Forest Festival is scheduled to run two weekends at the Double JJ Resort June 21-24 and June 28-July 1.

This story is copyrighted © 2018, all rights reserved by Media Group 31, LLC, PO Box 21, Scottville, MI 49454. No portion of this story or images may be reproduced in any way, including print or broadcast, without expressed written consent.

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