Festival goer sentenced to 3 months in jail for punching police officer.

July 23, 2018

Anthony Wachs with his attorney, Julie Springstead Waltz during his trial last May.

Festival goer sentenced to 3 months in jail for punching police officer.


By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

HART — A 21-year-old Plainfield, Illinois man was sentenced to three months in jail and fines and costs totaling $2,500 in 27th Circuit Court Monday, July 23, for a conviction of assaulting a police officer causing injury.

The case stems from an incident during last year’s Electric Forest Festival in Rothbury when Anthony J. Wachs punched Rothbury Police Officer Ethan Walker in the face, breaking his nose.

Wachs was found guilty of the felony following a two-day jury trial last May.

The jury reached a “not guilty” verdict for Wachs for his second charge of attempted unlawful driving away of an automobile (car theft). It was alleged that Wachs attempted to steal Walker’s patrol car before breaking his nose, July 1, 2017 outside the Electric Forest Festival.

According to testimony during the trial, Wachs was high on LSD and “juice,” which is a liquid form of Molly.

The jury heard testimony from Officer Walker, along with Montague Police Officer Tom Walicki and Montague Police Chief Robert Rought, who were both working for RPD that night. They also heard testimony from three paramedics who were working in the festival’s medical tent, as well as Dr. Bryan Judge, MD, a toxicology expert, said Oceana County Prosecutor Joseph Bizon.

“A statement made to the police was introduced at trial that the defendant admitted to using LSD and ‘juice,’ which we interpreted as a liquid version of Molly,” Bizon said.

“He had no idea where he was,” Walicki testified. Wachs, who had been released from the festival medical tent, was later ejected from the event after security personnel took his wristband from him.

“He was wandering around on private property behind a residence,” Walicki testified.

Wachs asked if Officer Walker was OK just as he arrived at the Oceana County Jail in his patrol car, Walicki said.

The officer explained that the Rothbury Police Department has “perimeter patrol” outside the venue, but not “inside patrol.” The Michigan State Police is hired by the festival to patrol the event, which attracts approximately 50,000 people from across the country and Canada each year.

The maximum penalty for assaulting a police officer causing injuring is four years in prison. Sentencing guidelines in the case 0-3 months, Bizon said. Judge Bradley G. Lambrix sentenced Wachs at the top of the guidelines.

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