BURNETT COUNTY -- Felony charges have been filed in Burnett County Circuit Court following an incident on September 4, 2018, shortly after 1p in which a Webster business reported that an assault had occurred.
Cowan Bruss, age 29, is facing felony charges after Burnett County law enforcement responded to a report of an assault at Affordable Auto, located in Webster, WI.
According to the criminal complaint that was filed against Bruss on September 20, 2018, Bruss was at Affordable Auto on that day and twice came inside the business to ask about two different vehicles parked outside, indicating that he was interested in purchasing the vehicles.
After being informed that he would have to speak to the owner of the first vehicle and that the second vehicle was not for sale, Bruss allegedly became angry, stating “F--- you! Everything’s for sale!”. Bruss then went back outside the business, only to return for a third time with a black billy club.
Bruss then allegedly attempted to strike the 72-year-old victim at Affordable Auto in the head with the club. The victim raised his right arm to try to block the blow, however, he sustained injuries including a swollen and bruised right hand, a red and swelling area near his right temple, and a red area around his right knee.
The victim fell to the ground following the assault and Bruss got on top of him. Another individual inside the business was able to pull Bruss off, however, Bruss kicked that person in the face during the struggle. After this, the victim picked up a small bat and struck Bruss once in the head.
A call had been placed to 911 while all of this was going on and a squad car arrived at the business. Bruss left the business and got back into his car outside; revving his engine and then squeezing past the squad car that was blocking the exit.
Additional officers had been dispatched to assist with the incident, and they engaged in a pursuit of Bruss. The criminal complaint states that the pursuit lasted for 3.3 miles reaching speeds of 85 miles per hour at times. After Bruss drove through an intersection without stopping for a stop sign, he then turned onto a dead end road, ultimately pulling into a ditch. Bruss then got out of the vehicle and ran into the woods.
The criminal complaint goes on to state that at one point, Bruss ran towards one of the squad vehicles, attempting to grab the passenger handle before running back into the woods.
Bruss was ultimately located hiding under a boat that was placed upside down on a trailer. After officers flipped the boat over, revealing Bruss, they then attempted to take him into custody.
Another struggle ensued, during which officers deployed a taser two times before Bruss complied with being placed under arrest. An ambulance was called to the scene to provide medical care to Bruss on scene.
Bruss also told officers that he had a .22 caliber revolver during the pursuit, but when officers asked him where it was, he laughed and said that they would never find it. Officers conducted a search for the firearm, but no firearm was located.
Bruss had sustained an injury to his head during the incident at Affordable Auto, and was transported to Burnett Medical Center for medical clearance before being taken to the Burnett County Jail.
Bruss is charged with Class H Felony Aggravated Battery - Elderly Person, Class I Felony Attempting to Flee or Elude an Officer, Misdemeanor Disorderly Conduct, Misdemeanor Criminal Damage to Property, and Misdemeanor Resisting an Officer.
The maximum penalty for a conviction of Class H Felony Aggravated Battery - Elderly Person is six years confinement in state prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.
At the time of this post, online circuit court records do not indicate if Bruss has been placed on a bail bond, or when his next court date is scheduled to occur.
Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.