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Window at downtown shelter smashed, suspect arrested

Brad Williams



A La Crosse man who was angry that a downtown shelter wouldn’t let him in is accused of smashing windows at the building.

Uneke Scarbrough is charged with causing property damage, and disorderly conduct. 

On Tuesday night, Scarbrough reportedly broke one large window at the Catholic Charities Warming Center on 3rd Street with a brick, and used a 4-foot pole to smash another window. 

The 27-year-old man complained that the shelter allowed a woman inside, but not him. 

A shelter employee says Scarbrough was told that the Warming Center was full for the night. 

A La Crosse judge has found probable cause to charge Scarbrough, after the suspect refused to leave jail on Wednesday to appear in court. 

In another court case, a state trooper was pursuing a stolen van through La Crosse early Wednesday morning, when a passenger fell out of the van onto the street. 

Now, the van driver is facing charges of car theft, and of driving under the influence of drugs. 

The trooper spotted the stolen van on Lang Drive and followed it past La Crosse Street. 

When the van made a turn, passenger Michael Lewko reportedly jumped out of an open door. 

Lewko was taken to Mayo, to be treated for injuries to his head and hand. 

The van stopped at 14th and Pine, and the alleged driver, Robert Lavenduskey, was found running about two blocks away. 

Lavenduskey admitted to police that he had used heroin earlier in the evening, and is now facing several charges. 

Lewko told officers he was just getting a ride from Lavenduskey, and jumped from the van after the police chase began, and says he didn’t know the vehicle was stolen. 

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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