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River Falls police: Pot smell draws police; Clean your windows

Pot smell draws police

Police were sent to a residence at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 31 in the 800 block of South Wasson Lane for a report of the smell of marijuana coming from an apartment. Officers could allegedly see a metal herb grinder and a small glass blown pipe in plain view from the open door while waiting for a resident to come to the door.

Charles Robert Erickson, 21, River Falls, told officers he had smoked marijuana in the past, but had none in his apartment. Officers told him they could see drug paraphernalia from where they stood. He eventually allowed officers to enter and search the apartment. In addition to the herb grinder and small pipe, the officers found three more pipes, one more grinder, a clear "dugout," a baggie containing a small amount of marijuana, and a baggie containing about 11.6 grams of marijuana. Erickson was cited $187 for possession of drug paraphernalia.

A large number of people were in the living room of the apartment drinking alcohol. Braedan Jamal Masterson, 19, River Falls, was cited $187 for underage drinking after a preliminary breath test revealed a .019 result.

Another person in the living room, Dillon J. Sweeney, 22, was reportedly on probation. He was arrested and taken to Pierce County Jail.


A Baldwin juvenile was cited $136 for failure to keep vehicle under control on Wednesday, Nov. 1. At about 10:58 a.m., the juvenile was driving eastbound on Cascade Avenue approaching the roundabout at Sixth Street when he allegedly lost control of his vehicle, fishtailed, went up and over the curb, struck a pedestrian crosswalk sign, and a fire hydrant. Witnesses saw the truck speeding.


Austin G. Fritzinger, 24, River Falls, was arrested for OWI at 7:38 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 after a traffic stop for a malfunctioning headlight. Officers reported Fritzinger seemed "extremely nervous" and showed signs of intoxication. Officers could also smell the scent of alcohol coming from within the vehicle. After standard field sobriety tests, Fritzinger was given a preliminary breath test. His result was .198. He was arrested for OWI and two counts of felony bail jumping and taken to Pierce County Jail. he received a $861 OWI citation.


Johnathan Thomas Mickelson, 20, New Richmond, was arrested for a parole hold Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Falls Theatre. While enroute to St. Croix County Jail, he began coughing up blood and was taken to the River falls Area Hospital, where he was medically cleared. He was then taken to jail.

Clean your windows

• Christy Kaylee Bechtold, 24, White Bear Lake, Minnesota, was cited $98.80 for obstructed driver's vision-front view after an accident at 4:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3 on South Wasson Lane at East Cascade Avenue. Bechtold went off the roadway and crashed into a wood fence and fire hydrant. Bechtold had allegedly not scraped or cleared away frost from her front windshield. She allegedly admitted that not scraping the window contributed to the accident.

• Gabriel Zion Nelson, 18, River Falls, was cited $98.80 at 7:56 a.m. Friday, Nov. 3 for not having reasonably clean motor vehicle windows after his vehicle collided with a dumpster. Nelson allegedly told police he couldn't see out his window due to the frost.

Retail theft

ShopKo loss prevention staff reported that two adult men were allegedly seen pushing a cart full of merchandise out of the store at about 8:42 p.m. Oct. 31, setting off anti-theft alarms, activated by security devices on the merchandise. The men allegedly stole two Hoover brand robotic vacuums worth $349.99 each and two Bissell Brand multi reach vacuums valued at $269.99 each. ShopKo Loss prevention staff also reported earlier that morning theft of two flatscreen TVs worth $379.99 each.