Called out to home for fight, Racine deputies find it's not suitable for human occupancy; woman charged

RACINE COUNTY (WITI) -- A 45-year-old Kansasville woman is facing multiple criminal charges after law enforcement officials were called out to a report of a fight at a home on Lakeshore Drive in the Town of Dover on Wednesday, March 18th. After a search of the home, a deputy reported he felt the home to be not suitable for human occupancy.

Josephine Degroot

Josephine Degroot faces the following charges:

    A Racine County Sheriff's deputy was called out to the home after a boy went to his neighbor's door and reported his older brother and his mother were fighting at their house.

    Upon the deputy's arrival at the home, that deputy observed Josephine Degroot, her two sons (ages 15 and 13) and the neighbor standing in the front yard. The 13-year-old boy was found to be highly emotional.

    The deputy spoke with Degroot, who reported she and her sons were on the couch together when the 13-year-old got up and screamed that the 15-year-old was fighting with their father. Degroot reported that all of the parties involved are afraid of the father.

    The complaint indicates the deputy tried to speak with the children about what was going on, but he was continuously interrupted by Degroot, who repeatedly said the children are afraid of their father.

    Another deputy spoke with a neighbor, who advised that the 13-year-old boy had come over, reporting the 15-year-old boy was beating up his mother again. That neighbor said several times a week, he hears screaming coming from the home.

    The deputies learned Degroot had an outstanding warrant. As they were attempting to take her into custody, she backed away from a deputy, pulling her hand away. She then pulled some items from her sweatshirt pocket -- handing items to her 13-year-old son, including a green and blue glass pipe and a dark plastic pouch. The complaint indicates the 13-year-old boy pulled his hands away, indicating he did not want the items.

    On the 13-year-old boy, a deputy found a package that he believed to be synthetic marijuana. The substance was sent to the state Crime Lab for testing.

    When a deputy tried knocking on the home's door to determine whether anyone else was inside, that deputy observed two bongs in the home.

    At this point, a search warrant was obtained, and officials searched the home.

    Upon entering the home, a deputy reported there was "no way to describe" the foul odor that permeated the residence. Officials say there were numerous bugs crawling and flying around the home, along with dirt, dust and cobwebs, and even fecal matter on every portion of every surface in the home. Inside the home, deputies found two bongs, two smaller glass bongs, a blow gun with darts, a digital scale, a gray metal grinder, a wooden box containing "Bomb Marley botanical potpourri," a box of clear sandwich baggies, a white jewelry box that contained black burned carbide bits with a strong odor of burnt marijuana, several pipes, a bag full of zip-top bags used to package illegal narcotics, and several pellet guns. A total of 17 pipes containing burnt resin were found in the home.

    The home's bathroom appeared to be non-functional, according to the complaint.

    Bedrooms were found to be filled with clothing and garbage.

    A deputy reported the odor in the kitchen to be "atrocious" and "stomach-turning." There was a sink full of dishes in the kitchen, and there was stagnant, discolored water in the sink. There were bugs swarming when the refrigerator's doors were opened, and the fridge and freezer were found to be full of rotting food.

    A deputy stated that in his opinion, this house was not suitable for human occupancy, nor was it safe for the neighborhood.

    Josephine Degroot is due in court on April 16th.