Jeffrey Garnier's family speaks out after suspects arrested

WEST ALLIS -- The family of Jeffrey Garnier, the man beaten and left for dead near 91st and Lincoln in West Allis on November 20th spoke out Wednesday, after four people were arrested in the case. 57-year-old Garnier died on Thanksgiving, just days after surveillance video showed him being attacked on the street.

Garnier's sister, Maryann Ostrenga says her brother was suspected of having a mild form of autism. "Kind soul, with a passive personality, who always veered from confrontation," Ostrenga said.

The criminal complaint in this case says on November 20th, a teenage girl told her mother and brother, a man with a mask and a plastic bag frightened her, and followed her home. Police say that man was Garnier. 17-year-old Javasi Pezanoski-Young, 47-year-old Danny Thompson (both of West Allis), and 18-year-old Qwajavious Pittman of Milwaukee found Garnier and cornered him in the street near 92nd and Lincoln. Thompson punched Garnier, then Pezanoski-Young hit him, sending Garnier's head smashing into the pavement. Garnier died in the hospital a few days later.

Both Thompson and Pezanoski-Young now face homicide charges. Pezanoski-Young was visible shaken and cried in court Wednesday. Pittman is charged with theft from a person or corpse. Police say he stole Garnier's wallet while he lay unconscious. 38-year-old Lina Pezanoski was also arrested in this case, but prosecutors decided not to indict her and say she played more of a spectator role.

Police say the arrests were the result of an anonymous tip, and that person should be getting $10,000 in reward money put forth by the family.

"They should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and spend time in prison," Ostrenga said.