Attorney Spits In Black Protester's Face; Arrested Twice: Cops

Scott Anderson

SHOREWOOD, WI — A 64-year-old Shorewood woman was arrested twice within 24 hours after police say she spit on a teenage protester Saturday during a protest march, shoved a protester on Sunday in front of her home, and later kneed an officer in the groin before she was taken to jail.

Authorities say Stephanie Rapkin, who works as an estate planning and probate attorney with an office in Mequon, has been booked into the Milwaukee County Jail after she was arrested for a second time. She's facing multiple criminal charges, and a complaint with state law regulators.

The incidents drew the attention of Shorewood officials, who quickly denounced Rapkin's actions, in the Facebook post, "hate has no home in Shorewood."

"The Village Board wants to let the community know we denounce this behavior. We are proud of all the Shorewood youth that stood up to speak about their experiences at the march on Saturday," the board wrote. "The Village Board recognizes the diversity of our community is our strength and is joining those around the nation to bring an end to violence and injustice towards people of color."

Incidents Captured On Video, In Photographs

Based on video footage captured by multiple eyewitnesses, a peaceful protest march was heading down N. Oakland Ave. Saturday at about 4:30 p.m. in Shorewood when Rapkin pulled her car across traffic lanes in an attempt to block the protest from marching further.

Footage shows Rapkin get out of her car, walk to the sidewalk and begin shouting at protesters, who quickly began to form around her.

As members of the crowd edge closer, video shows Rapkin spit on one of the protesters, later identified as Shorewood High School student Eric Lucas. Lucas spoke out about the incident on Monday, saying he felt "physically and mentally shaken" by the incident.

Speaking before reporters in a Monday morning news conference also hosted by school officials, Lucas said "I feel disappointed in feeling unloved by individuals who I have done no harm to," he said. "Our family does not hate, but does request that justice be prompt and appropriate."

In the video, protesters in the immediate area begin to encircle Rapkin, however several members of the group extend their arms to hold the group at bay, giving Rapkin a few feet of distance between her and the demonstrators she had been confronting on the sidewalk.

Shorewood police eventually caught up with Rapkin at her home at 10 p.m. Saturday. According to multiple reports, police arrested her on suspicion of battery and disorderly conduct related to the incident earlier that day.

Shorewood police said they were not able to take her to the Milwaukee County Jail due to the jail's current policies related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, that would change.

Rapkin Arrested A Second Time

According to the Shorewood police department, she was arrested for a second time. This time, officers were sent to the 4200 block of N. Ardmore Ave. for a disturbance.

According to police, a group of protesters gathered outside Rapkin's house on Sunday just before 4 p.m. to stage what police called a peaceful protest. Eyewitness reports, including one person who posted a photo of Rapkin's arrest on social media Sunday, included a photo of the chalk drawings protesters were making on the front walk.

One of the drawings admonished Rapkin for spitting on a teenager during a George Floyd-related protest march the day before.

On Sunday, police say Rapkin saw the protesters out front, came out of her house and started arguing with them.

According to Shorewood police, Rapkin slapped one of the protesters and shoved him before going back into her house.

Police said they arrived, and couldn't get her out of the house right away. According to police, she eventually came out of the house on her own. When police told her that she was under arrest, Rapkin kneed one of the male officers in the groin area, according to reports.

Police said they were able to cuff Rapkin and transport her to jail. Shorewood police say they're recommending charges of battery, disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and battery to a law enforcement officer to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office.

Legal Complaint Filed

On Sunday night, Attorney Michael S. Maistelman with Milwaukee-based Maistelman and Associates filed an official complaint with the State Office of Lawyer Regulation, claiming multiple violations.

In the complaint, Maistelman alleges that Rapkin violated the Wisconsin Attorney's Oath which states that an attorney must "abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness unless
Required by the justice of the cause with which [they are] charged."

The complaint also alleges Rapkin violated Wisconsin Attorney professional code of conduct as a result of Saturday's incident.

This article originally appeared on the Shorewood Patch