Man arrested for entering wrong house while intoxicated

By Brandi Makuski

A Stevens Point man has been arrested after police say he attempted to enter multiple residences under the impression it was his own house.

A resident on the 1500 block of Strongs Ave. called police at 2:58 AM on Jan. 26, complaining of a suspicious man trying to enter two residences there.

Joshua C. Kreger, 22, reportedly broke a window, then broke through a door attempting to enter the home, according to Stevens Point Assistant Chief Mike Rottier. Kreger also reportedly tried to gain access to an apartment in the same building before police arrived. The value of the damage wasn’t immediately known. 

“Apparently he was celebrating his birthday, and he thought he was home on Clark Street,” Rottier said. “He’s lucky nobody got hurt.”

Rottier said incidents like this one should remind nightlife revelers of the importance in hitting the bars with a trusted friend.

“You should have a designated driver, so you’re not walking home alone; or go in a group,” Rottier said, noting the local Bring a Buddy program, which encourages young people to travel in groups anytime they go out at night.

The program was launched in the memory of UWSP senior Eric Duffey, who disappeared on a cold March night in 2012 after leaving a downtown bar alone on his 21st birthday. Duffey’s body was found two days later in the Wisconsin River.

“That was a horrible tragedy; but there are a lot of things that could happen if you don’t use a buddy system when you go out drinking,” Rottier said. “You should always use the buddy system, or call a cab, or use the Free Ride Home program, or as a last resort, call mom and dad.”

Rottier said while he didn’t immediately know the statistics, it’s not uncommon for police to respond to late-night calls alleging an intoxicated person has entered the wrong residence. 

“You always kind of wonder when that’s going to go bad; someone’s drunk and they break into a house thinking it’s his own…a homeowner can defend himself,” Rottier said. “It could end very badly; a homeowner gets woke up in the middle of the night and they’re scared, they’re not going to stop and ask if you’re just intoxicated, or a burglar before they defend their home.”

Rottier said Kreger was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.

Kreger was released Jan. 29 on a $1,000 signature bond. He returns to court Feb. 12.