A 21-year-old Wauwatosa man is facing charges that he shot up a Milwaukee home after he was kicked out of a party there earlier one night.
Ryan L. Baltz was charged Tuesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of endangering safety with use of a dangerous weapon. If convicted, he faces up to 12½ years in prison and $25,000 in fines.
It appears that Baltz may have some anger management issues – he was arrested on the shooting complaint while he was appearing in Milwaukee County Court on earlier charges of disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property.
And the break in the drive-by shooting case against him came when was monitored on a phone call from the County Jail, while telling his mother he had done the deed.
A night out starts badly and ends worse
According to the criminal complaint and Milwaukee Police reports:
On May 13, Milwaukee police officers were called to a home in the 4800 block of North 70th Street by a woman living there who said someone had driven up and fired a gun multiple times into the house from a white van.
The woman’s children were home at the time of the shooting, and a number of bullet holes were found inside the living room.
No one at the home was sure whose van it was, but they said that earlier in the night there had been a party at the residence, and a visitor had been kicked out after he got into a fight. Someone present recognized the van as the same one driven by a another man who had brought the unwelcome guest to the party.
Details of exactly how police were able to connect the van to its owner, who proved to be a Brookfield man, or the shooting to Baltz, his passenger, are not entirely clear, because many of the voluminous records in the convoluted case have not yet been approved for public release.
However, it is clear from records that on May 23, 10 days after the shooting, Baltz, who had been out on bail, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal damage to property. A charge of disorderly conduct stemming from the same incident on March 24 was dismissed but read into the record.
He had also been convicted of disorderly conduct in 2009.
'Mom, I'm in a little trouble – er, no, a lot.'
Baltz was being held in jail awaiting sentencing in the March case when he made the fateful phone call to his mother, telling her he had also fired a gun into a home.
Law officers were listening, and his admission was duly noted.
He was subsequently arrested last Thursday by Milwaukee police for the shooting while at a pre-sentencing hearing on his earlier conviction – which must have been enlightening to his judge.
It is not clear from available reports how the Brookfield man who had been driving the night of the shooting was implicated, although an astute observer of criminal behavior might speculate that his friend Baltz tried to "roll" on him.
At any rate, the Brookfield man was being sought, and when he was pulled over Tuesday by Brookfield police, he happened to be drunk behind the wheel and was arrested for operating under the influence.
He was then turned over to Milwaukee police for questioning, and he told them that his buddy Baltz had made him drive back to the party house that night in May by holding a gun on him.
The Brookfield man, who is not being named because he has not been charged, was then bailed out by – wait for it – Baltz's mother.
Faced with the evidence, Baltz made a full confession to the police, saying that after he got kicked out of the party, the two went back and he shot up the place.
Then, he said, they went to .
Baltz is being held in Milwaukee County Jail, for a number of reasons.