STURTEVANT — A Mount Pleasant man allegedly tried selling pills while on probation, then reportedly lied to police about having COVID-19.
Erik William Nielsen, 28, of the 1300 block of South Emmertsen Road, is charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct in connection to the incident.
According to the criminal complaint:
At about 8:14 p.m. Friday, a Sturtevant Police officer responded to the area of East Park in the village for a report about a suspicious person approaching someone with a pill bottle and asking them if they wanted any.
The suspect was identified as Nielsen, who was reportedly holding a six-pack of White Claw hard seltzer and indicated to officers that he was on probation. When asked if he should be drinking, he indicated that he should not. He handed the pill bottle to the officers. The pills were listed as Gabapentin, an anticonvulsant and nerve pain medication, and the bottle had his name on it. He denied offering them to anyone.
Officers noticed he was unsteady on his feet and that his speech was slurred with a strong odor of alcohol. Nielsen indicated that he was going through withdrawals.
Officers made contact with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and advised them of the contact. The department indicated they would be placing a hold on Nielsen and that he would be held at the Racine County Jail. He was then taken into custody and officers administered a preliminary breath test which registered a 0.252 blood alcohol count.
Upon arrival at the jail, staff began their initial medical screening, at which point Nielsen indicated that he had COVID-19. He was then transferred to Ascension All Saints Hospital for medical clearance. While there, Nielsen then indicated to officers and staff that he did not have COVID-19. While walking through the emergency department, he reportedly began loudly announcing he had COVID-19 despite admitting he lied earlier. He was then transferred to the jail.
As of Tuesday, Nielsen remained in custody at the Racine County Jail under a $100 cash bond, online court records show. A status conference in his case is set for Oct. 6 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center, 717 Wisconsin Ave.
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