RACINE — Racine County District Attorney Tricia Hanson on Wednesday denied The Journal Times’ open records request for video that shows a former Mount Pleasant Village Board candidate allegedly punching a Mount Pleasant Police officer in the face in August 2017.
Charles Haakma, 68, of the 3100 block of Meachem Road, on Tuesday, pleaded no contest to charges of resisting or obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. In exchange for his plea, the state dropped a felony charge of battery or threat to a law enforcement officer.
The Journal Times filed an open records request for video of the incident Tuesday afternoon. In an email Wednesday, Hanson said she denied the request because Haakma will not be sentenced until March 12, at which time he will have 30 more days to file a notice of intent to appeal.
“The case is not closed from our perspective until 30 days after sentencing,” Hanson wrote. She added that if Haakma does not intend to appeal, she can release the video at that time.
Hanson previously denied an open records request for the video in 2017.
Haakma’s charges stem from an Aug. 15, 2017, incident when there were three car crashes in quick succession at the intersection of Highway 31 (Green Bay Road) and Spring Street (Highway C). Haakma at the time lived just east of the intersection on the 4700 block of Spring Street.
Police said Haakma was stuck in traffic from the crashes and became angry because he could not get in his driveway. He allegedly started yelling obscenities at a Mount Pleasant officer, who then turned on his body camera.
Officers with MPPD and Racine County Sheriff’s deputies began to arrest Haakma, who then reportedly struck an officer in the face. The officer’s body camera was knocked off in the ensuing scuffle.