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Second man charged in attack, robbery of UW-W students

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Darryl Enriquez
January 12, 2011
— A second man this week was charged in a criminal case in which calls made on a stolen cell phone led Whitewater police to suspects they say robbed and beat two UW-Whitewater students.

Chase A. Burns, 28, of Ringle, near Wausau, is charged with felony strong-arm robbery, theft and two counts of battery. His cousin, Spencer R. Wnuk, 21, Stevens Point, is facing identical charges in the case.


A student's cell phone was stolen in Whitewater last April but later was recovered in La Crosse, according to a criminal complaint filed in Walworth County.


According to the complaint, Burns and Chase approached two students on campus and asked about parties in the area. One of the suspects asked to borrow one of the students' cell phones, which he did, and the other suspect asked the other student if he had change for a $10 bill.


The complaint further states that as one of the students pulled out his wallet, one of the suspects used his fist to strike the student in the back of the neck.


The other suspect struck the student who lent out his cell phone with a beer can in the back of the neck. That student wrestled briefly with a suspect and was punched in the face several times. The suspect fled with the phone.


The phone was found in La Crosse and given to police. Calls made from the phone to the girlfriend of one of the suspects led investigators to Burns and Wnuk. The UW-Whitewater students identified their attackers in a photo lineup.


Burns is being held in Walworth County Jail on $1,500 cash bail. He is scheduled to make an initial appearance at 1 p.m. Friday before Judge Robert Kennedy.


Wnuk is being held in the Portage County Jail. No court date is pending for him.


The robbery charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.



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