Ex-Marine gets prison for Water Street beating

A 25-year-old ex-Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq will spend 15 months in prison for beating a 21-year-old man at a Water Street parking lot.

A 25-year-old ex-Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq will spend 15 months in prison for beating a 21-year-old man at a Water Street parking lot.

"This could have been a tragic situation, not just a sad situation," Eau Claire County Judge Michael Schumacher said Monday at the sentencing hearing for Joshua J. Sloop, 6581 115th St., Chippewa County town of Wheaton. Sloop's attorney, Robert Thorson of Eau Claire, said his client has shown symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.

Ironically, Sloop's victim, also is a Marine. He had a deployment to Iraq delayed until he recovered from the injuries sustained in the beating, Schumacher said.

The judge said he struggled with the decision of whether to send Sloop to prison or place him on probation with a jail term.

"This wasn't an easy decision for this court to make," Schumacher said.


The deciding factor, he said, was that Sloop was on probation for a domestic abuse incident at the time of the beating.

"This isn't a single, isolated incident of confrontation or violence," Schumacher said.

The victim is largely recovered but has lingering headaches and possible memory loss, assistant district attorney Ben Webster said.

Sloop told Schumacher he's grateful the victim has recovered.

"I've quit drinking and avoid bars like the plague," he said. "I can't apologize enough. I realize I need to do something and make some changes."

The prospect of a prison term causes him anguish, Sloop said.

"I had to drop my 2-year-old off on the way here, and I don't know when I'm going to see him again," he said. "And that just kills me."

Sloop previously pleaded no contest to a felony count of battery causing bodily harm.


According to the criminal complaint:

The victim was found laying unconscious in a parking lot at Fifth Avenue and Water Street at 2 a.m. Feb. 24, 2010. The victim was bleeding from the mouth, nose and ear. He was treated at Luther Hospital for a broken nose and minor bleeding in the brain.

The victim and two others were in a car in the parking lot that was kicked by Sloop and another male. The victim got out to confront the males. He was pushed to the ground and kicked in the face.

Sloop and the other male fled the scene. Sloop later was identified by surveillance video obtained from a Water Street tavern.

Sloop will spend three years on extended supervision following his release from prison.

As conditions of supervision, Schumacher ordered Sloop to apply for admission to Eau Claire County Veterans Treatment Court, undergo anger management counseling, and pay $1,350 in restitution.

Sloop cannot drink alcohol, enter taverns or liquor stores, or have contact with the victim and his family.

Copyright (c) 2011, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis./Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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