Monday, December 6, 2021

Explainer: prosecutors play down Kyle Rittenhouse’s inexperience

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Ryan Balch testifies during Kyle Rittenhouse’s trial at the Kenosha County Courthouse on Thursday, November 4, 2021 in Kenosha, Wis.

Sean Krejcik, Kenosha News

“He seemed like a young and impressionable kid,” Balch said. “He also seemed a little less equipped and less experienced, which is one reason we stayed with him.” Balch did not explain why he thought Rittenhouse was less equipped.

Balch states that he keeps an eye on Rittenhouse throughout the evening, protecting him as Rittenhouse walks around screaming that he is a medic and can help anyone who is injured. Balch called a protester abusing Rittenhouse and insulting Rittenhouse, saying, “I love you too, ma’am.” Balch said they told him not to answer because it would only make the crowd more protest.

Kyle Rittenhouse - November 4

Kyle Rittenhouse, right, puts a pen in his pocket and watches the gallery as his attorney, Natalie Visco, leads him to the door during the break in the trial on Thursday.

Sean Krejcik, Kenosha News

“Then I told him, ‘Hey, don’t say that,'” Balch testified. “It can escalate the situation to someone if they think you’re making fun of them a bit. So, just not needed.”

Former Marine Jason Lakowski testified Friday that he also traveled to Kenosha armed with a semi-automatic rifle and knife to protect businesses.

He said Rittenhouse introduced himself and said he was an emergency medical technician. Rittenhouse did not say how old he was, but Lakowski testified that he thought Rittenhouse was at least 18 years old because minors in Wisconsin could not have firearms and thought that a person should be licensed EMT. Must be 18 years old to do so.

He testified that Rosenbaum was acting “combatantly”, tried to start a fight with Lakowski’s group and asked the group members to shoot him. He said he did not consider Rosenbaum a threat to him or anyone else.


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