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Muskego Man Faces 6th OWI, 8 Years in Prison

Suspect also has a knife with him when he's pulled over, and threatens to shoot a sheriff's deputy, according to reports

A 39-year-old Muskego man is facing charges after he was caught allegedly driving drunk with a knife on his belt, then threatened to shoot a Waukesha County sheriff’s deputy.

Joseph J. Walberts Jr. was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Friday with one count of sixth offense operating while intoxicated, one count of obstructing an officer and one count of operating a motor vehicle after revocation of his license. If convicted, he faces up to nearly eight years in prison and $22,500 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

At 3:17 a.m. Friday, a deputy was parked in the median of I-94 eastbound near Highway 16, when a pickup truck came by, followed by an SUV that was honking its horn and flashing its lights. The SUV stopped by the deputy and told the officer he thought the driver of the truck was drunk, so he began to follow it.

The deputy noticed the truck swerve between lanes several times, so he pulled it over near Redford Boulevard. When the deputy approached the truck, Walberts was trying to light a broken cigarette inside.

Walberts appeared drunk and smelled of alcohol and he told the deputy he had a shot and a beer before driving, then asked the deputy what time it was despite having a functional clock in his truck radio.

Walberts said he took a muscle relaxer around 6:30 p.m. and when he asked why he was pulled over, the deputy said for swerving. Walberts then began to get out of the truck and asked the deputy “what are the charges,” to which the deputy responded he wasn’t being charged with anything yet.

Walberts lost control of his voluntary muscle movements out of the truck and then bent down and began to reach under the seat. The deputy noticed a fixed blade knife in a sheath on Walberts’ right hip, so he became concerned and told him to stop digging under the seat. Walberts continued despite the command, until the deputy pulled him away.

Walberts then ripped himself away from the deputy and turned towards him until the deputy got him to hold onto the truck while another deputy took the knife out of the sheath. The report stated he continued resisting as he was walked toward the squad car.

While on the way to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for a blood test Walberts said he would get his semi-automatic to 'teach the deputy what was what,' then said he would find out where the deputy lived so he could show up and say hi.

At the hospital he refused to consent to the blood test, but officials were able to force Walberts’ arms behind a chair so blood could be drawn.

Walberts was previously convicted of OWI in 2001, 2002, 2004 and twice in 2006. He’s currently free on $5,000 bail while awaiting trial. 

Deanna Kuhn Knasinski August 29, 2012 at 02:58 PM
UGH, lock him up & throw away the key. Because when he gets out he'll drink again & next time he could kill a innocent person on the road. Sad.
Janet August 29, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Was he sober for 6 years and fell off the wagon, or just lucky he got caught before killing someone. This sounds like a story worth writing about. Follow up and let us know about it.
Denise Konkol (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 05:30 PM
We can certainly try to get his side of the story, but as many of these requests go, people generally don't want to talk about it.

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