Wisconsin man who tried to stop robbery charged with felony

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LA CROSSE, Wis.  — A Wisconsin man is being charged with a felony, after he tried stopping an armed robbery at a local bar.

“I didn’t think I did anything wrong by any means,” Jeff Steele said.

Jeff Steele has lived in the neighborhood surrounding King’s Korner Bar for about 40 years.

“It’s not really the nicest neighborhood we live in,” Steele said.

Which is why Jeff carries a Tazer, and he used it on Monday morning.

“I was in the cooler right over here and when I stood up she was standing in the middle of the bar with a small hand gun pointed at me,” said Colleen Hogan, a Bartender.

A 24-year-old, Heidi Thompson was the women underneath the mask.

“She said, ‘OK guys put your hands on your head and give me all the money, all the 20’s,” said Colleen Hogan.

Bartender Colleen Hogan said when she turned around with money from the register, she saw Jeff walking towards Thompson with his Tazer.

“I don’t think he made contact because I could see it sparking, but he definitely startled her,” Hogan said.

Thompson ran from the bar and was arrested minutes later by La Crosse Police.

But she isn’t the only one with charges following this incident.

Jeff is being charged with possession of an electronic weapon which is a felony.

Because he doesn’t have a concealed carry permit for his Tazer.

“You can have it in your home and on your private property without a concealed carry permit, but you do need to keep a concealed carry permit to carry it out in public,” Officer Lisa Barrix said from the La Crosse Police Depatment.

“When I bought it off the internet it said basically that it’s legal to have in the state of Wisconsin, but didn’t go into any depth on it, so I assumed that it was legal to carry around, otherwise why would you buy one to leave it at home? How is it for defense then?” Steele said.

The La Crosse Police Department said because Jeff tried help, he wasn’t immediately taken to jail.

He was placed on a signature bond, it is now up to the District Attorney’s Office to decide whether to pursue the felony charge or not.

The women who robbed the bar is being held on a $10,000 cash bond.

She is facing charges of armed robbery and disorderly conduct.

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