Sunday, February 25, 2007

Man mistakes porn DVD as woman's cries for help

Oconomowoc - Instincts took over, James Van Iveren says, when he rushed out his door to the sound of a woman being raped in an apartment above.

"It was a woman screaming," he recalled Tuesday. "She was screaming for help."

Sword in hand, he bounded up the stairs, kicked in the door and confronted a man who turned out to be alone - watching a pornographic movie.


Van Iveren


"Now I feel stupid," Van Iveren said.

Worse yet, police seized his sword - a family heirloom - carted him to jail and referred the case to a prosecutor who charged Van Iveren with three criminal counts.

"This really is nothing," Van Iveren insisted, "nothing but a mistake."

Van Iveren's "mistake" unfolded on the morning of Feb. 12 when Van Iveren, 39, of Oconomowoc, was listening to music in the apartment he shares with his mother behind Red & Bunny's Diner on S. Main St.

Suddenly, according to Van Iveren, the distinct cries of a woman pleading for help could be heard coming from the apartment above him. He tried putting them out of his mind at first, but when they persisted, Van Iveren decided something had to be done.

"I don't have a telephone," he said. "I couldn't call the police."

The cries seemed to be coming from the apartment of a tenant he barely knew, but that, Van Iveren said, didn't matter.

"It had nothing to do with him," he said. "I didn't even know if he was there. It was the woman. I thought there was a woman."

The woman, according to a criminal complaint, was on a DVD being watched by the neighbor, who later played part of the movie back for police to point out what he figured Van Iveren heard downstairs.

To Van Iveren, the neighbor's film sounded like a rape in progress.

"So I grabbed the cavalry sword and ran upstairs," he said. "I intended to hold it behind my back and knock.

"But I froze and instead, what happened happened."

According to the criminal complaint, the neighbor told police that Van Iveren pounded on the door and kicked it open without warning, damaging the frame and lock in the process.

"Where is she?" Van Iveren demanded, thrusting the 39-inch sword at the neighbor, according to the complaint. "Where is she?"

The neighbor told police that Van Iveren became increasingly aggressive as he repeated the question, insisting that he'd heard a woman being raped. With the sword pointed at him, the neighbor led Van Iveren throughout the apartment, opening closet doors to prove he was alone, according to the complaint.

Van Iveren said it wasn't nearly that dramatic.

"I walked in the front room and looked around," he said. "When I saw there was no woman, I left.

"I went downstairs and when I looked out the window, I saw the police had come, so I went out to tell them what happened."

Van Iveren insisted that he never threatened the neighbor with the sword.

"I had the sword extended," he said. "But that was all."

The neighbor wasn't home when a reporter visited the building Tuesday, and he could not be reached by telephone.

For his effort, Van Iveren was charged with criminal trespass while using a dangerous weapon, criminal damage to property while using a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct while using a dangerous weapon, all criminal misdemeanors that carry a maximum total penalty of 33 months in jail.

"All of them are going to be dismissed," he predicted. "They have to.

"This was all just a big mistake."

The prosecutor who issued the charges could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Van Iveren, who was released on a signature bond when he was charged last week, is due to appear in court March 5.

He faces charges after entering apartment with sword in tow.

By DAVID DOEGE
ddoege@journalsentinel.com

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If they're going to charge this guy for ANYTHING, they ought to also bust the porn addict for whatever maximum penalty there is for disturbing the peace, malicious mischief, etc.

It is NOT reasonable that ANYONE should have to listen to this and ignore it.

Navin said...

yeah, but US is country of freedom. may be that guy tried to intimidate and threaten the p-addict besides, according to the charges made, it's human right violation. That guy no matter if is porn addict, has full right to do whatever entertains within his domain but since it violates the social peace and drew attention of ppl like him with sword. He certainly got to be punished since he's full volume with women crying on DVD.

Anonymous said...

hey i feel sorry for you.....That does not mean you let yourself down.....sorry bother!

Ashish said...

ANYTHING, they ought to also bust the porn addict for whatever maximum penalty there is for disturbing the peace, malicious mischief, etc.

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