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Three suspects in drive-by harassment at La Crosse school will be scheduled for trial



La Crosse officer Andrew Jarrett appears at a court hearing on March 29, 2023.

Three young men are pleading not guilty to accusations of threatening children outside a La Crosse elementary school.

Nineteen-year-old Hunter N. Gundlach, Alex P. Pataska, 18 and Brady P. Hove, 19, appeared together before La Crosse County Judge Elliott Levine on Wednesday, for an evidence hearing.

The three were arrested shortly after a March 15 incident outside Blessed Sacrament School, when riders in a passing car shouted at kids who were outdoors for recess.

The three in the car allegedly made crude remarks and gestures, and yelled threats such as “You’re going to die.”

La Crosse police officer Andrew Jarrett testified during the hearing that third graders at the school said they were afraid after the incident.

Jarrett said the black Nissan SUV that drove past Blessed Sacrament was spotted speeding on 4th Street several minutes later, and the three suspects were arrested.

One defense attorney argued that somebody saying “you’re going to die” doesn’t rise to the level of a felony threat.

Judge Levine, however, said yelling to kids that they’re going to die is very serious, and can be taken as a threat to hurt them.

Levine found probable cause to try the three suspects for making terroristic threats.

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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