EAU CLAIRE — An Eau Claire man will spend two years on probation for punching a woman while she was holding her 4-month-old baby. The baby also got punched during the incident, authorities say.
Austin J. Bollinger, 26, 1593 Highway F, pleaded no contest recently in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of recklessly causing harm to a child. Two felony counts of causing mental harm to a child and misdemeanor counts of battery and disorderly conduct were dismissed.
Judge John Manydeeds gave Bollinger the option of spending 15 days in jail or performing 120 hours of community service. As conditions of probation, Bollinger cannot have contact with the victims, drink alcohol or enter taverns. Bollinger must also complete a drug and alcohol assessment and write a two-page paper on adverse childhood experiences.
Bollinger was fined $176.
According to the criminal complaint:
A police officer went to an Eau Claire residence in late September on a report of a woman with two small children being attacked on the balcony.
The officer arrived to find the woman holding her shoulder as if she was in pain. The woman said Bollinger had attacked her. Bollinger was staying with her off and on for two weeks. The woman said she took him in because he didn’t have anywhere else to go.
The woman said Bollinger was seated on the couch while she was on the floor playing wither her 3-year-old son and her baby. Bollinger started to sweat and appeared to be talking to himself. When the woman asked if he was OK, Bollinger sprang up from the couch and postured in a fighting stance.
The woman said she picked up the baby and started to back away from Bollinger because he was scaring her. Bollinger swung a fist at the 3-year-old but missed. The child ran screaming into another room. The woman ran out onto the deck that overlooked the parking lot while holding her baby.
While the woman started to scream for help, Bollinger ran out onto the deck and started to punch her. The baby was struck in the head by one of Bollinger’s punches. The woman said she was eventually able to get around Bollinger and run outside the apartment with both of her children in tow.
The woman was struck numerous times.
The officer saw several red marks on the side of the baby’s head and on the woman’s arm and shoulder.
Four witnesses told the officer they witnessed Bollinger punching the woman on the balcony while she was holding a baby.
Two of the witnesses said that after the woman fled from the residence with the children, Bollinger was laughing at them and making unusual hand signs at them.