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RF man faces two charges for disrupting Walker Recall petition drive

Following a River Falls Police investigation, Pierce County District Attorney John O'Boyle has filed a criminal complaint against Dennis L. Torkelson, 37, of rural River Falls, for his alleged role in damaging petitions relating to the Wisconsin recall drive of Gov. Scott Walker. The incident occurred just after 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, on Main Street in front of EconoFoods.

Torkelson has been charged with two misdemeanors for falsifying information and for criminal damage to property.

He will be asked to appear in Pierce County Circuit Court at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 23.

A police investigator questioned Torkelson at his home several days after the incident on Main Street.

Torkelson was tracked down because petition volunteers took photos of him, his car and license plate. When he left the scene he allegedly gave his name as "George Washington."

This is the second such incident in River Falls since the statewide recall drive started in November.

On Sunday, Dec. 18, a recall table with two volunteers in the 600 block of North Main Street in front of the apartments managed by the River Falls Housing Authority was allegedly attacked.

Kaarin Thompson, 32, of River Falls, was later cited for disorderly conduct. She allegedly overturned a table with petition signatures and spit at the volunteers before driving off.

When questioned by a police officer, Thompson said she was a Ron Paul for president supporter and mad that the Housing Authority wouldn't let her put up signs for Paul outside her rental home. Thompson lives at 423 Kennedy St. in a house managed by the Housing Authority.

Thompson was given a $177 municipal fine because of her actions.