Wisconsin ranch owner Michael Feist is facing new charges after he allegedly started a brawl with a sheriff deputy trying to check on his horses. Feist was ordered to stand trial last month after four of his horses were found dead at his Otter Creek Farm and others were deemed in “grave danger.”
Deputies are permitted to check on Feist’s remaining horses as a condition of his bail. Now, Feist is charged with felony bail jumping, misdemeanor disorderly conduct and obstructing an officer after the alleged incident that happened on December 27, 2013.
Court documents state when the Polk County Sheriff Deputy arrived on the property to inspect the horses, Feist was carrying a sledgehammer and approached the deputy while yelling, swearing and demanding that the deputy leave. Feist allegedly threatened to assault the deputy, who used pepper spray and a stun gun on Feist as he resisted arrest.
The Otter Creek Ranch owner is charged with four felony counts of mistreatment of animals causing death, 15 misdemeanor counts of intentional mistreatment of animals, and 15 misdemeanor counts of intentional failure to provide proper food and drink to animals. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing February 28.
Authorities allege Feist failed to provide his horses food and water, even after after he received a warning. Advertisements for the stable state Otter Creek Ranch offers boarding, lessons, training, and trail riding services to the public.
The investigation began in September 2013, when officials received a tip regarding undernourished horses on the property owned by Feist and his chiropractor wife, Dr. Brenda Weierke. Upon inspection, authorities learned the farm housed a herd of about 80 horses. In November, four horses were discovered dead by authorities, leading to the initial charges.
Feist is out on $500 cash bond and is scheduled to make his first appearance on the new charges Monday.