Mayor’s suspected attacker faces judge

The man charged with brutally beating the mayor of Milwaukee is pleading not guilty by reason of mental disease.

During a preliminary hearing Thursday, the court heard the gruesome details of 20-year-old Anthony Peters’ beating of Mayor Tom Barrett. Peters, who was arrested by Milwaukee Police by the intersection of 17th and State streets, faced a judge while two police officers recounted the beating that took place earlier this month on West Orchard Street in West Allis.Anthony Peters, 20, faced a judge for his preliminary hearing for allegedly assaulting Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

West Allis Police Detective Timothy Stein was the first to testify and described the severe condition of the mayor when he arrived on the scene. Stein said Barrett was lying in the fetal position in a pool of his own blood.

After surveying Barrett’s condition, Stein testified that the mayor was having difficulty speaking to police. He also found several injuries, including a head wound that required 11 staples to close it. Stein also reported an exposed fracture between Barrett’s pointer and second finger.

Lastly, Stein noted that the police investigation concluded that Barrett had suffered several injuries while trying to protect himself from Peters. These defensive injuries combined with head trauma caused officers to be greatly concerned for the Barrett’s health.

According to Detective Dale Bormann of the Milwaukee Police Department, the majority of the mayor’s injuries were caused by a tire iron Peters had carried to the scene in the waistband of his pants. Peters took the tire iron with him with the intention of breaking the windows on a vehicle belonging to his child’s mother.

Barrett was struck after he began to call police in response to an altercation between Peters and his grandmother.

Peters reportedly took the Barrett’s phone away and hit him with the tire iron once in the head. This caused the Barrett to fall to the ground instantly.

Peters continued to hit Barrett with the tire iron after he had been knocked to the ground.

Bormann also revealed that Peters did not know who Barrett was at the time of the alleged attack.

Afterward, Peters admitted to police that he “freaked out” on the mayor and that he disposed of the tire iron and Barrett’s cell phone. Peters told police he could not recall where exactly he disposed of the tire iron.

The district attorney has four different charges against Peters: disorderly conduct, theft of movable property from a person, first degree reckless injury, and bail jumping.

Peters could spend up to 26 years in jail if found guilty on all charges.

Defense attorney Anthony Cotton said that his client is pleading not guilty to all charges against him due to reason of mental disease. Cotton said Peters has had a history of mental health problems that have gone untreated.

“There is certainly a history of bipolar disorder,” Cotton said. “And perhaps schizophrenia as well.”

Despite his client’s alleged mental illness, Cotton believes Peters is competent to stand trial.

Peters’ next court appearance has been set for September 14. At that time, Cotton expects the court to appoint physicians to evaluate his client’s mental stability.