BROWN DEER -- Prosecutors said Kevin Strong, 26, threatened to blow up a business in Brown Deer. He has a criminal history involving domestic abuse cases and violating restraining orders.
"There are some offenders that, no matter what you do, they are going to violate," said Carmen Pitre, president and CEO of the Sojourner Family Peace Center.
Domestic violence survivor advocates like Pitre said restraining orders are an important tool in a survivor's safety toolbox.
"I don't have to wait for a crime to be committed," said Pitre. "It is automatically a crime if you violate the order, which is an important layer of protection."
In summer 2018, a woman was granted a 10-year restraining order against Strong -- under investigation by Brown Deer police for alleged threats to a Brown Deer business in August.
A search warrant said he called the woman's workplace, demanding to speak to her, or he would "blow up the whole place," and he would "come in there and shoot up the place like they did this weekend" -- referring to the 22 victims shot and killed by a man at an El Paso, Texas Walmart the previous weekend. Strong added, "I've got plenty of guns."
As Brown Deer police investigated that case, the woman flagged down a Milwaukee police officer the next day. While speaking with police, prosecutors said Strong told the woman over the phone that "he will never be done with her."
Strong was arrested on outstanding bench warrants for failing to appear in court in two domestic violence cases, filed in November and December 2018.
He was charged with a restraining order violation and bail jumping in the Milwaukee case on Aug. 14. The Brown Deer case was ongoing as of Thursday, Aug. 22.
"Abusive behavior is the responsibility of the person committing the violence," said Pitre. "As a community, we have to be committed to holding that person accountable."
Strong was in court in the Milwaukee case for a return on warrant/initial appearance on Monday, Aug. 19. Cash bond was set at $3,500, and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Aug. 28.
Domestic abuse victims' advocates said support is essential for survivors.
If you or someone you know needs help, here are some useful resources:
- City of Milwaukee Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault Resources
- Sojourner Getting Help
- End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin – Southeastern Region
- Wisconsin Department of Children and Families Victim/Survivor Services Information