Wisconsin Veteran Handcuffed in Johnson Creek Menard’s Mask Dispute [VIDEO]

menards mask video

Police handcuffed a Wisconsin veteran, saying he was resisting, after confronting him for not wearing a mask in a Johnson Creek Menards store. The man, Lee Otto II, who was accompanied by a service dog, told the officer he had a medical condition, but the officer demanded documentation, and Otto’s name and date of birth.

Otto shared a video of the incident to his Facebook page.

“You have to wear a mask if you’re going to be inside the store… it’s Gov. Evers,” the officer told Otto in the video. Otto said he had a medical reason for not wearing a mask. The manager then said he could shop online, and the officer asked for documentary proof. Otto shared two videos to his Facebook page.

We reached Otto for comment, and he told us that he was invited to the Ivanka Trump event in Johnson Creek by Rep. Barb Dittrich and others. He said the Sheriff’s Department had also reached out to him (he says the officer involved works for Johnson Creek PD.) “I am getting a wonderful amount of support,” said Otto, adding that he believes the way Menards handled the situation was “absolutely horrible.”

See the video here.

According to Otto, he was an infantry soldier in Iraq who did a combat tour there in 2004-2005 in Fallujah and other places and has purple hearts. He says he was “shot and wounded three different times in Iraq” and medically retired from the military due to anxiety, traumatic brain injury, and other wounds, and that he has PTD. His service dog, which can be seen in the video, was provided to him by a veteran’s no profit group. He said the dog “kept me calm. Helped me be a better person. It’s not a time for veterans to get up and start stuff. We want to talk it through.”

He said he “can’t wear a mask, and it’s documented through my doctor because of anxiety, I have claustrophobia wearing masks because of what happened in Iraq.” We reached out to the U.S. Army public affairs office to confirm Otto’s service record and will update this story if response is received.

Johnson Creek Police Chief Gary Bleecker told us, “This situation will be thoroughly investigated and because it’s under investigation I can’t comment.”

Otto said he would leave the store, but the officer asked his name and date of birth to make sure he wasn’t wanted by the FBI. The officer said “A, you can identify yourself or B, you can disregard and I’ll call more officers over here and I’ll arrest you and take you down to jail and fingerprint you and see who you are.”

“For what?”

The officer said Otto had to identify who he was. Otto then gave his name but declined to give his date of birth

“You’re not wearing a mask which is part of the rules to be in the store,” said the officer. The officer then said Otto wasn’t “free to leave.” Otto then said he was going to walk around the store. The officer said again that he needed to identify him. Otto walked away and then he said, “why are you touching me?” The officer tells him to put his hands behind his back and cuffs him. They go outside with Otto in handcuffs as other officers arrive. Eventually, the handcuffs are removed and Otto is allowed to leave.

Lee Otto Expressed Outrage on Facebook Over Menard’s Mask Dispute

Lee Otto II Facebook

On Facebook, Lee Otto wrote:

So the ‘general manger’ (sic) (depicted in the video) of Menards called the State Police, Sheriff’s Dept. and local police for me not wearing a mask. I was detained by the cops and then marched through the store in front of everyone. The officer claimed I was ‘resisting arrest”. The officers put me out front the store for everyone to see. In the video the officer throws my phone. He also jerked me so hard his body camera broke off and fell on the floor.

Thank you governor Evers and Menards for showing everyone how you treat customers, combat veterans and their service K-9!
THE BEST PART IS THE OFFICER WALKED BACK IN WITHOUT A MASK! the “’eneral manager’ on duty was Geraldo.

I followed up by trying to call Johnson Creek Menards and now they say I was “tresspassing“ but nothing was said about that. I was informed to call back on Monday and speak to the manager named Ryan. The number is 920-699-6400 and press 22
I suppose if I was spray painting and defacing private property, the police would turn a blind eye seeing as that apparently is the new norm.


Here is a second video Otto shared.

We reached out to Otto to find out which branch of the service he was in and to learn more and will update this story if comment is received. We also reached out to Johnson Creek PD for comment.

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Jessica McBride

About the Author: Jessica McBride


  1. First and foremost this man is protected by wisconsin statutes that are for people with disabilities. So for the manager to suggest he shop online when everyone who is wearing a mask is allowed to shop in store. 2nd I have had a run in with this manager his arrogance is disgusting. I HOPE the attys step up and use the Americans with disabilities act to make the owner of menards a lot less rich

  2. So sorry this has happened to you . A veteran, someone who has served our country for us to be free. So sad over a mask .I think it could have been handled differently. Thank you for your service.

  3. That cop was breaking ALL KINDS of laws. First of all. IT’S A MANDATE NOT A LAW> BIG DIFFERENCE! he cannot enforce it as if it were a law. READ THE DAMN MANDATE. even the mandate says there are certain exceptions for not wearing the masks so he HAD NO REASON to even BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Much less hassle him or arrest him for anything. He also has NO RIGHT to ask for medical information from a STRANGER! A COP IS NOT A DOCTOR. THERE IS STILL A THING CALLED HIPPA YOU DAMN POWER HUNGRY DICK! He had a dog, gave his reason and yes the store has a right to their policies but you HAVE NO RIGHT TO ASK FOR HIS NAME OR CHECK ON ANYTHING about him. It is none of your f-ing business who he is. Especially when he is doing nothing wrong.

  4. I HOPE Otto sues that idiot COP! He didn’t even have to give the COP his name! These stupid cops need to learn the laws!

  5. This sworn servant just committed:

    Felony breach of his Peace,
    aggravated kidnapping,
    aggravated extortion,
    terrorist threats,
    false imprisonment,
    aggravated assault and battery,
    treason of the 4th and 5th …..

    ALOT OF felonies this terrorist felon with a badge just committed….The executive branch cannot make LAW that is enforceable……against “We the People.”…..

    Threats to id when NOT LAWFULLY arrested, is a plethora of FELONIES…..
    NO OBLIGATION TO IDENTIFY, or ANSWER QUESTIONS…..or help the terrorist felon with his ‘investigation.”
    He also cannot demand medical information…..

    Brown v Texas

    Terry v Ohio 392 U.S. 1
    “Of course, the person stopped is not obliged to answer, answers may not be compelled and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an arrest, although it may alert the officer to the need for continued observation.”

    “The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that refusal to answer law enforcement questions cannot form the basis of reasonable suspicion. See Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429, 437, 111 S.Ct. 2382, 115 L.Ed.2d 389 (1991) (“We have consistently held that a refusal to cooperate, without more, does not furnish the minimal level of objective justification needed for a detention or seizure.”) – U.S. v. Santos 403 F.3d 1120 (2005)

    Watts v. Indiana, 338 U.S. 49 (1949), was a United States Supreme Court case in which Justice Robert Jackson famously opined, “To bring in a lawyer means a real peril to solution of the crime because, under our adversary system, he deems that his sole duty is to protect his client—guilty or innocent—and that, in such a capacity, he owes no duty whatever to help society solve its crime problem. Under this conception of criminal procedure, any lawyer worth his salt will tell the suspect in no uncertain terms to make no statement to police under any circumstances.”

    In this case, a defendant was subjected to rigorous interrogation methods, including being forced to sleep on the floor, resulting in a confession to having committed murder. The Supreme Court ruled that the confession was involuntary and reversed his conviction.

    H\ave these oath breaking traitors and felons been charged with their crimes yet?

  6. After seeing the way he was treated at Menard’s, I surely would hope that everyone stops shopping at Menard’s. Our Family Thank’s you for your service. I am so sorry to see a veteran or anyone treated in this manner over a mask. I sure hope these officers are fired. I will be sharing this video . I have dealt with this same store harassing my husband and I over not wearing the mask. It is not a law and they can not arrest you.

  7. I used to buy several Christmas gifts at Menards. NOT NOW. You’ve lost my business. P.S. Under HIPPA rules, NO ONE has a right to ask you why or what medical reason you don’t wear a mask.

  8. As for Menards.. the guy was just doing his job even if he was being an ass…

    But for the Nazi police… The only difference is they have guns and we don’t…

    When he was going to leave, well, that should have been the end of it. But no, the renegade Trumpster cops felt embolden to take down “a sucker and a loser” veteran. (Trump’s words, not mine).

    I would sue these morons till they could never humiliate another veteran.

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