Bail set at $10,000 for arson
By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A 44-year-old woman shot by Colfax Police Chief William Anderson during the execution of a felony warrant for arson December 18 has now been charged with attempted homicide and recklessly endangering safety.
The Dunn County district attorney’s office filed the charges in Dunn County Circuit Court against Beth M. Mittelstadt on Friday, January 2.
Mittelstadt faces one felony count of first-degree intentional homicide and two felony counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety, along with one misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer.
Judge Rod Smeltzer set a cash bail of $10,000 for Mittelstadt December 29 on the felony count of arson.
Mittelstadt was scheduled to make an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court on the attempted murder and recklessly endangering safety charges January 6.
According to the Dunn County jail’s online list of inmates, Mittelstadt was still in custody as of the morning of January 5 and has been held at the jail since December 26.
Mittelstadt is accused of setting fire to a house at 511 East Third Avenue in Colfax on the night of May 24, 2014.
The house on Third Avenue was occupied by Katie Bundy and her children, although no one was reported to be at home at the time of the fire.
Police Chief Anderson executed a felony warrant for the arrest of Mittelstadt at around 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, December 18.
Police Chief Anderson made contact with Mittelstadt at the apartment where she resided above the Colfax Arts and Antique Mall and Lynn’s Brewed Awakenings on Main Street.
Mittelstadt was uncooperative and armed herself with a large machete-type knife and threatened the police chief.
Using his duty weapon, Police Chief Anderson fired a single shot at Mittelstadt and struck her in the upper torso. Officers from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department arrived a short while later and assisted Police Chief Anderson in taking Mittelstadt into custody.
Mittelstadt still had the machete in her hand when Dunn County officers arrived and threw the machete at one of the deputies, according to news reports.
The Colfax Rescue Squad transported Mittelstadt to Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire where she received treatment for her injuries.
Although state law requires an outside agency to do the investigation when there is a death associated with an officer-involved shooting, Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith asked law enforcement officials from St. Croix County to conduct the investigation, stating that the investigation would be “cleaner” if conducted by another agency.
Police Chief Anderson was off work for ten days but returned to duty on December 29.
In an e-mail message to the Colfax Messenger December 30, Police Chief Anderson noted that St. Croix County had not yet completed the investigation, but when the report was finished, it would be sent to the Dunn County district attorney’s office for review.
Police Chief Anderson began serving as the Colfax police chief in May of 2014, replacing long-time Colfax Police Chief Pete Gehring upon his retirement after serving in law enforcement for 43 years.