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Tipsheet

Prosecution Witness in Kyle Rittenhouse Trial: 'Blabbering Idiot' Rosenbaum Was Being Aggressive Toward Me

Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP

KENOSHA, Wisc. — Jason Lackowski, who served as a rifleman in the Marine Corps, testified on Friday he had also encountered Joseph Rosenbaum on the night of August 25, 2020, prior to him being shot by Kyle Rittenhouse after chasing him and lunging for his AR-15.

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Lackowski, who was called up to the stand by the prosecution, said he was in Kenosha as part of the armed group who had come to town to protect private property from further damage. Lackowski was armed with an AR-15 and a knife, along with some less-than-lethal ordinance. Over the course of the night, Lackowski said he helped put out numerous fires that were being set by rioters.

Lackowski met Rittenhouse for the first time that night and assumed Rittenhouse was at least 18 since Rittenhouse said he was an EMT and was also carrying an AR-15. When Lackowski first encountered Rosenbaum, it was after police had pushed the crowd of rioters away from the Kenosha County Courthouse and down Sheridan Road.

Lackowski testified Rosenbaum was trying to provoke a reaction out of him by pretending to step forward in a quick manner and then quickly stepping back while telling others in the armed group to shoot him. While Lackowski said he considered Rosenbaum to be a "blabbering idiot," he did not consider Rosenbaum to be a threat.

Lackowski was up the street on Sheridan Road when the shootings took place. When Rittenhouse passed by him, Lackowski told him to run towards the police. Lackowski attempted to follow Rittenhouse at a distance but stopped when he heard gunfire from behind him. He turned around to assess where the gunfire was coming from but turned around again since he heard more gunfire behind him.

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Upon cross-examination from the defense, Lackowski said he did not see Rittenhouse being aggressive toward anyone. He said he found the handgun Gaige Grosskreutz had in his hand when Rittenhouse shot him as Grosskreutz was bringing the handgun towards Rittenhouse. Lackowski emptied the magazine from the gun. Defense asked if there was a bullet in the chamber when he racked back the slide. Lackowski said yes.

Lackowski's testimony comes a day after Ryan Balch, an Army veteran who was also a state prosecution witness, told the court Rosenbaum told him and Rittenhouse, "If I catch any of you guys alone tonight I’m going to f*cking kill you!"

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