Austin Daily Herald, Minn. –
A 47-year-old Austin man who posed as a crossing guard, complete with a reflective vest, was convicted of two misdemeanors Friday in Mower County Court.
Wade Joseph Novak convicted of two counts of disorderly conduct. Other misdemeanor charges for fifth-degree assault and impersonating an officer were dismissed. Novak received a stayed jail sentence of 90 days and was placed on supervised probation until he completes 31 hours of community service.
According to Police Chief Brian Krueger, Novak reported to law enforcement on Sept. 29 that he had been assaulted by a 13-year-old boy and 11-year-old girl. As an officer was on his way to the scene of the assault at the intersection of 10th Drive and Sixth Ave. SE, he ran into the boy and girl. The 13-year-old boy told the officer Novak had actually assaulted him, according to police reports.
The boy said Novak, who is not employed as a crossing guard, was wearing a reflective vest and got into a verbal altercation with him about the proper way to cross the street. Novak allegedly grabbed the boy to get him to cross the street faster. He then reportedly pursued the two juveniles for 50 to 75 feet before stating he is with the police department and would have to take them to detention, according to a court complaint.
The boy told police Novak grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. The 11-year-old girl reportedly kicked Novak in the groin area to get him to stop. Police found a red, flashing light on the passenger floor of Novak’s car. Krueger said the light had Velcro on it so it could stick to the dash, but Novak denied using it.
According to a court complaint, Novak admitted to acting as a crossing guard and also admitted to telling the children he is a police officer.