Hayward Man Facing Felony Charge of Aggravated Battery - Cause Great Bodily Harm

Thursday, March 1, 2018 | by Ben Dryden |

A Hayward, WI man is facing a charge of Class E Felony Aggravated Battery - Cause Great Bodily Harm; this charge stems from an incident that occurred in July 2017 and resulted in serious injuries for the victim.

A criminal complaint filed in Sawyer County Circuit Court against Caleb Nelson states that the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Department and the Hayward Police Department responded to a call on July 8, 2017, on Hamblin Street regarding a report of a fight.

When officers arrived on scene they were told that one of the subjects had fled through a back window. Outside of the residence, officers made contact with a man who was approaching the residence on foot and who was identified as Caleb Nelson. The criminal complaint goes on to state that Nelson told officers that the person who had fled had assaulted Nelson’s daughter, and so Nelson had chased him. Nelson told the officers “you better find that guy”. Nelson was out of breath and agitated and kept pointing towards some woods in the direction from which he had just come.

Investigating officers also spoke with Nelson’s daughter, who was at the scene, and she said that the man who had fled had slammed her down on the ground. (She provided a name of the man to the investigating officers, however, for purposes of this story, SawyerWire is choosing to identify him by the initials J. K. only.)

Officers conducted a search of the area for J. K. but were unable to locate him that evening. Information collected by the investigators indicated that J.K. was not from the Hayward, WI area and did not have a cell phone in his possession.

The following morning officers returned and conducted another search. In the yard of a residence on Margaret’s Lane, officers saw tracks in the dew on the grass. They followed the tracks to a shed on the property, and inside they found a puddle of fresh blood on the floor ad blood spattered on the shed doors and on several items in the shed. Officers worked their way back towards the residence where the incident had originally occurred, searching outbuildings and looking for more footprints. 

When officers got back to Hamblin Street, they began to check vehicles parked in the area. In a Jeep Cherokee without any license plates, officers found a white male, apparently asleep, lying in the backseat of the vehicle.Officers detained him in handcuffs for safety, and he was ultimately identified as J.K. 

Officers observed the following injuries on J.K.: his left eye was swollen shut, and he couldn’t even open it; he had sustained a large gash between his eyes and several lumps on his forehead; his nose was swollen; he had dried blood all over his face, and was still bleeding.

When officers asked J.K. what happened to his face, he paused and then stated that Caleb Nelson did it to him.

J.K. went on to state that while at the residence where officers were originally called to, he had pushed Nelson’s daughter after she had punched him in the face about a dozen times. He then fled out the back window. Sometime later, Nelson made contact with J.K. along the roadway. J.K. told officers that Nelson told him that the cops were looking for him, as though he was trying to help J.K. The next thing J.K. remembered, was waking up in the ditch in a lot of pain and bleeding profusely, according to his statement.

J.K. told officers that he hid in the shed and the vehicle to try to stay warm as he did not have another place to go. J.K. was transported to Hayward Area Memorial Hospital Emergency Room for medical care. 

Officers returned to the residence where the incident occurred and located Nelson. When asked if he knew what had happened to J.K.’s face, Nelson said no. Nelson also allegedly said that he had never found J.K. the night of the incident when J.K. fled out of the window and went on to say that maybe J.K. had injured his face going out of the window.

Nelson was placed under arrest and transported to the Sawyer County Jail. Online circuit court records show that Nelson was placed on a $2,500 cash bail bond which was posted a few days later. The Court ordered Nelson to have no contact with J.K. by any means.

At a hearing on February 27, 2018, the Court found probable cause to bind his case over for trial. Nelson is scheduled to appear later this month. 

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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