Weather Forecast


Men charged in assault outside Cottage Grove bar

A man who provided a cigarette lighter to a woman outside a Cottage Grove bar was punched to the ground and beaten further by the woman’s ex-boyfriend and an accomplice, according to Washington County District Court criminal charges.

William J. Jeske Jr., 28, of Cottage Grove, and Oliver Q. Reinhart, 34, of Lakeland, were arrested following the reported assault about 10:30 p.m. July 19 outside the American Motorsports Bar and Grill, 7240 East Point Douglas Road.

According to the criminal complaints:

A Cottage Grove man standing outside the bar offered a woman a cigarette lighter. Jeske, who is the woman’s ex-boyfriend, Reinhart and two other men approached them. The victim stepped in to protect the woman, and witnesses said Jeske and Reinhart started punching the man. He fell to the ground and they continued to punch and kick him in the head and body.

At one point, another woman exited the bar and tried to break up the fight. Reinhart punched her in the face with a closed fist, the complaint states.

A witness said Jeske threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend if she talked to another guy. The witness also reported seeing Jeske approach the group while holding a switchblade-style knife. A woman who had been in a vehicle with Jeske knocked the knife from his hand and the suspects got back into the vehicle and drove away.

The victim, a 24-year-old Cottage Grove man, suffered a cut on his ear and scratches on his arms, but he did not seek medical attention.

About 20 minutes later police found the suspects’ vehicle as they returned to the bar parking lot.

Reinhart, who was the driver, appeared intoxicated and was in possession of a box cutter, which is in violation of a city weapons ordinance. An open beer can was found in the center console.

Reinhart had a blood alcohol concentration of  0.16, twice the legal driving limit. He was arrested on suspicion of two charges of second-degree drunken driving; two charges of fifth-degree assault, for hitting the man and the woman; possession of a dangerous weapon; driving after revocation; and allowing an open bottle.

Jeske was charged with terroristic threats and fifth-degree assault.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

(651) 459-7600