Waukesha 'homeless encampment' ax attack, man charged

An ax attack in Waukesha has a group of homeless people concerned for their safety.

Investigators said 51-year old Kevin Brue picked up an ax and swung it at a woman multiple times. It started as a fight over a $40 "bike repair."

Prosecutors said it happened at a "homeless encampment" near St. Paul and Prairie Avenue where at least five people live. It’s along the railroad tracks and across the river from the Environmental Education Center. Police said they are aware of the area and note people stay there frequently when the weather gets warmer.

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FOX6 News spoke to a man named Jim, who did not want to share his last name, but said he lived with Brue there. While Jim was not there when the fight happened, he said there is more to the story.

"When people are under the influence of mind-altering substances, things can happen against their will," Jim said.

Kevin Brue

The victim told police Brue "charged at her" with an ax, yelling "I'm going to kill you." She told police he "swung the ax…twice within an inch of her left leg but didn’t hit her" and kept saying "you owe me money." She ran less than a mile away and spoke to police near Maple and Williams.

Prosecutors charged Brue with second-degree recklessly endangering safety (use of a dangerous weapon) and misdemeanor bail jumping. The 51-year-old was out on bond at the time of his arrest; he was charged one month ago with possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and carrying a concealed knife.

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Police said a city parks and recreation worker called them on June 4 when Brue and other homeless people were drinking in the park after hours. Jim said life for everyone in the camp is tough: "There are resources but they kind of run thin. And then there are people out here because they want to be out here."

Brue is being held at the Waukesha County Jail on a $25,000 cash bail.