On May 5, 2020, a 57-year-old female City of Kenosha resident, Mary Magdalen Moser, was arrested and issued citations for her actions while attempting to gain access to the County Board Chambers during a meeting of the County Board at the Kenosha County Administration Building.
The Kenosha County Board and Kenosha County Administration are following the local, State, and Center for Disease Control guidelines on social distancing, travel bans, school closures, quarantines, and event cancellations; the Board has taken measures which include not allowing public attendance of meetings. Interested members of the public can attend the meetings virtually or by telephone. Notices of these restrictions and the availability of online and phone participation were published.
Based on these restrictions, Kenosha County Administration restricted entry for the County Board meeting to the secured employee entrance of the Kenosha County Administration Building.
The Sheriff’s Department assigned two supervisors, Captain Robert Hallisy and Lieutenant Steven Beranis to monitor the entry of Board Members into the building. Moser entered the building through the employee entrance and attempted to board the elevator to the County Board Chambers. Lieutenant Beranis and Captain Hallisy realized that she was not a County Board member, and explained that the meeting was closed, and told her she could attend the meeting virtually on the internet.
Moser insisted she was allowed to enter and refused to leave the secure area of the building.
Captain Hallisy went to the Chambers and consulted with the County Board Chairman, who confirmed that access would not be allowed. He returned to the entry area and reiterated to Moser that she would not be allowed to attend the meeting in person.
Captain Hallisy stood in front of the elevator doors. Moser reached past him and pressed the elevator call button while demanding entry to the meeting. Moser pressed the elevator call button five separate times during her debate with the Captain, each time activating the elevator door. Captain Hallisy and Lieutenant Beranis both tried to reason with Moser, who was adamant that she be allowed entry. She tried to brush past Captain Hallisy the fourth time the elevator door opened. Lieutenant Beranis took hold of Moser’s arm and guided her away from the elevator and again asked her to leave. Moser ignored this and walked back past Lieutenant Beranis toward where Captain Hallisy was standing, and then again tried to board the elevator. In response to this, both the Lieutenant and Captain told her she was under arrest. They then took hold of her arms. Moser began struggling and resisted the attempt to handcuff her. They then directed Moser toward the wall of the room and held there while handcuffs were eventually applied. The Deputies then escorted her out of the building. There were no injuries reported.
Moser was issued two County Ordinance citations for Obstructing an Officer and Resisting Arrest. She was later released. The Deputies did not take her to jail.
Lieutenant Beranis and Captain Hallisy showed much restraint during their contact with Moser. She insisted on attending the meeting and attempted to force her way past law enforcement to do so. Her disregard for the orders of law enforcement and her subsequent resisting resulted in her being taken into custody.
A surveillance video of the arrest is available here: