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'John Doe' charged with assaulting deputies has been identified


A man arrested in Koshkonong on March 5 after allegedly assaulting deputies who were responding to a complaint has been identified, and an additional charge is being sought by Howell County Assistant Prosecutor Heath Hardman.

Court documents show the man previously referred to as "John Doe" because he initially refused to provide his name or identification is now listed as James M. Barnes, age 59. An address for Barnes is not listed in public court records.

Howell County Deputy Adriel Lisboa reported on March 5 he was dispatched to investigate a report of property damage caused by stray goats. He went to knock on Barnes’ door as he was investigating, the deputy stated, and before he could, Barnes opened the door and began acting aggressive before Lisboa could explain who he was and why he was there. The deputy added Barnes started yelling at him while clenching his fist and he could smell intoxicants on his breath.

As Lisboa tried to explain that he was there to talk about some complaints made about his animals, he reported, Barnes grew more agitated, told the deputy he had no right to be on his property, got in his face and continued to move toward him in a threatening manner after he was told to back away.

Lisboa said he tried to call for backup but he was unable to get his radio to work and had to go to his patrol vehicle to use the in-car radio. As he did, Barnes walked up behind him and, when the deputy told him not to come any closer, continued to advance toward him. The deputy said he ordered Barnes to place his hands behind his back and told him he was being detained until he could be identified, and backup could arrive.

Barnes again reportedly refused to comply, continuing to move toward the deputy, and Lisboa reached out to grab his arm to handcuff him but was shoved, causing him to stumble. Then the deputy said he drew his Taser while continuing to order Barnes to back up, and Barnes grabbed the Taser and tried to disarm Lisboa.

The deputy said he was able to break the suspect's grip on the Taser and discharged it, striking him and causing him to stumble backwards before Barnes pulled out the Taser’s prongs.

Lisboa then retreated to his patrol vehicle to contact dispatch for backup, and when backup arrived, they worked together to effect an arrest as Barnes continued to resist and a Taser was deployed a second time by Cpl. Nicholas Bruno, but did not work correctly, so it was deployed a third time.

As Lisboa and Deputy Brandon Meacham were trying to get Barnes into a patrol vehicle, he allegedly bit Meacham on the arm.

Barnes is charged with the felonies of third-degree assault on a special victim, disarming a peace officer while performing an official duty, and resisting arrest for a felony. On Monday, Hardman filed an amended prosecutor's complaint requesting a charge of misdemeanor fourth-degree assault on a special victim because he allegedly shoved Lisboa during the arrest, court records show.

A condition for setting bond, stipulated March 8, was that the suspect's identity first be verified, and Barnes appeared for a bond review hearing Wednesday before 37th Judicial Associate Court Judge R. David Ray, who set bond at $20,000.

Barnes, still in custody, has entered a not guilty plea and, as of Friday, is represented by Public Defender Micah Jones.