Former Racine mayor faces disorderly conduct charge after fight over speeding at Piggly Wiggly

MOUNT PLEASANT-- A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge was filed Monday, May 11 against former Racine Mayor John Dickert, 57, following a March fight at Piggly Wiggly in Mount Pleasant. Prosecutors said it all started when Dickert spotted a speeding driver, and began recording him.

The fight happened on March 22 at the Piggly Wiggly store on Washington Avenue near Green Bay Road.

According to a criminal complaint, when officers arrived, they found the victim with bloody knuckles and scratches on his neck. He indicated he'd been headed to work, "in a hurry and driving fast" when he saw Dickert videotaping him. Dickert pulled into Piggly Wiggly, and he pulled in next to Dickert and asked him why he was recording him.

The victim said Dickert then exited his vehicle, and approached the victim's passenger side window -- leaning on his vehicle. The victim said he told Dickert to get off, and Dickert said no -- walking around to the driver's side. The victim heard Dickert say something to the effect of, "Do you think you're a tough guy?" Dickert then grabbed the victim by the neck and pushed him onto his vehicle, the complaint said.

The victim said he responded by punching Dickert "three to five times." He added that Dickert also punched him, according to the complaint.

Surveillance video showed Dickert walking to the driver's side of the victim's vehicle before each man "took a boxing stance" in front of the victim's car. The video then showed both men appeared to try to strike each other before both fell to the ground. Then, the video appeared to show the victim striking Dickert four times, before Dickert struck the victim twice in the head and face. The victim then grabbed Dickert before two witnesses tried to intervene.

The complaint said Dickert told investigators he saw a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed, and said when the victim pulled up next to him in the Piggly Wiggly lot, the victim "gave him the finger" and they both got out of their vehicles. Dickert said the victim asked, "What's your (expletive) deal, man?" Dickert replied that he didn't have a problem -- but confronted the victim about his driving habits. Dickert said there was then "an exchange of words" and the victim "threw the first punch." The complaint said Dickert had blood on his clothes and a laceration on his cheek.

Investigators spoke with two witnesses -- one who said Dickert hit the victim first, while the other said the victim started the fight.

An initial court appearance was scheduled for July 23.