OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin man said he broke into an apartment with a cavalry sword because he thought he heard a woman being raped but the sound was from a pornographic movie his upstairs neighbour was watching.
“Now I feel stupid,” said James Van Iveren, who has been charged in the case. “This really is nothing, nothing but a mistake.”
A criminal complaint said the neighbour told police Van Iveren pounded on the door and kicked it open without warning Feb. 12, damaging the frame and lock.
“Where is she?” Van Iveren demanded, thrusting the sword at the neighbour, the complaint said.
“Where is she?”
The neighbour told police Van Iveren became increasingly aggressive as he repeated the question, insisting he had heard a woman being raped. The complaint said, with the sword pointed at him, the neighbour led Van Iveren through the apartment, opening closet doors to prove he was alone.
The neighbour later played for police the part of the DVD he believed Van Iveren heard downstairs.
Van Iveren, 39, of Oconomowoc, was charged with criminal trespass, criminal damage and disorderly conduct, all while using a dangerous weapon, and is due in court March 5. Together, the misdemeanour counts carry a maximum sentence of 33 months in jail.
Van Iveren said Tuesday he heard a woman “screaming for help,” grabbed the sword, bounded up the stairs, kicked in the apartment door and confronted the man who lived there.
“I intended to hold it behind my back and knock. But I froze and instead, what happened happened,” he told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper.
Contesting his neighbour’s account, Van Iveren said he didn’t look anywhere in the apartment except the front room and he never threatened the neighbour with the sword.
“I had the sword extended. But that was all,” he said.
Van Iveren, who lives with his mother in the downstairs apartment, said he did not call police when he heard the noises because he does not have a telephone. He said he barely knew the upstairs tenant.
Police seized Van Iveren’s sword, which he said was a family heirloom.
That story reminds me a lot of
this one from 2004 about a guy who planned a fantasy rape with a woman in a chat room but then broke into the wrong house.
The only real difference between the 2 is that Van Iveren only wound up menacing a stranger because he thought he honestly needed to help somebody. So while he should definitely feel like an idiot, at least he had guts enough to react to what could have been a bad situation.