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Crime News Black Lives Matter

Lawyer Allegedly Spat On Teen During Protest, Then Kneed Arresting Officer In The Groin

Eyewitness video shows both of Stephanie Rapkin's alleged confrontations with young protestors.

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt
Stephanie Rapkin Pd

A Wisconsin lawyer racked up a number of charges over the weekend — allegedly spitting on a teen at a demonstration, assaulting a college student who was protesting outside her home, and kneeing the groin of an officer attempting to arrest her.

Stephanie Rapkin, a 64-year-old Shorewood resident, was initially taken into custody on Saturday night for allegedly spitting on a minor earlier that day, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Rapkin is alleged to have used her car to block a an anti-racism protest on Saturday afternoon; when confronted by demonstrators, who told her to move her car, Rapkin then allegedly spit on Eric Patrick Lucas III, a 17-year-old Shorewood High School student who organized the protest, according to another report from the outlet.

"I continue to be mentally and physically shaken. To be assaulted by an adult in my own community during a pandemic was traumatic," Lucas said, according to the outlet. "Again and again, I am viewed not as a child but as a color."

Footage of the spitting was shared widely on social media. In the video, Rapkin can be seen arguing with protesters and then spitting on the teen. She was arrested on Saturday night in relation to the incident and booked at the Milwaukee County Jail, but was released due to limitations regarding the coronavirus pandemic, Shorewood Police said in a statement over the weekend. Authorities said at the time that they intend to present charges to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.

Rapkin was then arrested the following day after another encounter with a different protester. Joe Friedman, a senior at Ithaca College in New York, told the Milwaukee Journal that he and between seven and 10 other people went to protest in front of her home by writing things — such as "Be better than this" — on the sidewalk with chalk after hearing about her arrest.

Friedman said that the group had been outside for around an hour when Rapkin came outside and approached them, at which point an argument ensued.

Friedman's mother, Debra Brehmer, posted footage of the argument on Facebook, and in the video, Rapkin claimed that she spit on Lucas because she was "attacked." After Friedman pointed out that the teen did not touch her, she proceeded to "explain" what the teen allegedly did by shoving Friedman, who was holding a camera at the time.

"Are you insane? You just put your hands on me," Friedman can be heard saying after the shove, as Rapkin heads back into her home. "That is assault right there."

Officers with the Shorewood Police Department arrested Rapkin on Sunday night following a struggle, according to a release from the department. Once police informed Rapkin that she was being arrested for battery and disorderly conduct and attempted to handcuff her, she grew "physically resistive" and struck one of the officers in the groin area with her knee, the release stated.

Police said Sunday that they will seek to have Rapkin charged with battery, disorderly conduct, battery to a law enforcement officer, and resisting/obstructing an officer.

Rapkin, an attorney, may also face further repercussions — including professional consequences. School officials and others in the community are calling for Rapkin to be charged with a hate crime, while state Rep. David Bowen, D-Milwaukee, who attended Saturday's rally, is calling for Rapkin to be disbarred.