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Police: man caught drinking beer in bathroom of downtown library

By Brandi Makuski

A Steven Point man faces new charges after reportedly violating orders from a Portage Co. judge that he remain sober.

According to city police, a patron at the downtown branch of the Portage Co. Public Library on Feb. 12 observed Emmanuel J. Gonzalez, 30, consuming alcohol inside the men’s bathroom at about 5 PM. Disturbed by what he saw, the witness exited the library and flagged down a patrolling police officer.

Officers located Gonzalez inside the building and attempted to question him, but initially Gonzalez ignored police as he walked toward the exit, the incident report said.

According to Assistant Chief Mike Rottier, Gonzalez finally acknowledged the officers, providing a fake name and birth date, also claiming to have no identification on him. Officers found him carrying two unopened cans of Steel Reserve beer in a plastic bag, and let him off with a warning, Rottier said. 

About six hours later, officers on the night shift encountered Gonzalez again, this time while responding to an unrelated incident at a downtown bar. One of the responding officers recognized Gonzalez from a 2017 arrest and knew he had been ordered by a judge to not consume alcohol, and placed him under arrest. 

Rottier said after he was handcuffed, Gonzalez admitted to providing a false name earlier that day at the library, prompting officers to charge him initially with obstructing an officer.

Rottier said Gonzalez was still on probation after being convicted last year on two counts of disorderly conduct and a single charge of resisting an officer. Another charge of stalking in that case was dismissed but read in for sentencing.

His next court date has not yet been scheduled.

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