Jan. 9—EAU CLAIRE — One of two men accused of robbing a woman of her backpack near an Eau Claire bridge armed with what looked like a police baton will be sentenced in March.
Tyrell W. Hedlund, 19, 3014 Essex St., pleaded no contest recently in Eau Claire County Court to a felony count of armed robbery.
Judge John Manydeeds found Hedlund guilty and ordered a pre-sentence investigation by the state Department of Corrections.
Manydeeds also revoked Hedlund's bond, meaning he will remain in the Eau Claire County Jail until he is sentenced on March 3.
Hedlund could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.
Hedlund's co-defendant, Grant E. Trapani, 21, 919 Feather Court, Altoona, returns to court Jan. 19.
According to the criminal complaint:
A woman called police to report that she was robbed of her backpack by two males just after 10:30 p.m. Monday, July 12, near the west side of the High Bridge in the 2500 block of First Street.
The woman said she was riding her bicycle on the bike trail to return to her residence. Two males then jumped out in front of her, blocking her path.
One of the males gave the woman a name of a man and asked if she knew him. The woman said that was her boyfriend.
One of the males then drew a baton, held it toward the woman in a threatening manner and told her to give him her backpack.
After the woman gave him her backpack, both males then walked away on the bike trail.
The woman said the males did not touch or physically assault her. But she felt she would have been beaten with the baton had she not handed over her backpack.
A police officer noted that the woman appeared to have been traumatized by the incident as she was very emotional and cried while describing what occurred.
The woman said clothing, her wallet with her ID and two pocket knives were inside the backpack.
A police officer found the woman's backpack and many of its contents strewn along the bike trail.
Another police officer found Hedlund and Trapani walking south along First Avenue. They matched the woman's description of the suspects.
Hedlund and Trapani told the officer they did not come into contact with anyone during their walk.
Officers then interviewed the males separately.
A baton and knife were found in Hedlund's pockets.
A knife was also found in Trapani's pocket. Five yellow pills were found in his backpack.
The woman identified the two knives as belonging to her.
After his arrest, Trapani then admitted that he and Hedlund had encountered a woman during their walk.
Trapani said he recognized the woman from a previous altercation years ago.
An altercation may have taken place between Hedlund and the woman, but Trapani said he kept walking and had no involvement.
Hedlund was prosecuted as a repeat offender. He was convicted of a felony count of substantial battery in August 2020 in Eau Claire County.