Traverse City Record-Eagle

July 26, 2013

Wis. men charged in 'missing' card fight

By MATT TROUTMAN mtroutman@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — ACME — A Wisconsinite who accused Acme Township bar employees of stealing his credit card has been reunited with the troublesome piece of plastic.

Turns out they were never separated. The card sat in one suspect’s wallet the whole time he and his father fought Bay View Inn staff over its disappearance. Police said the men then threw a pizza at the inn’s owner and fled down U.S. 31 at 87 mph before their arrest Monday, authorities said.

Kenneth W. Helsper, 30, and his father Theodore J. Helsper, 56, were arraigned Thursday in 86th District Court. The younger Helsper, of Hales Corners, Wis., faces felony charges of fleeing a police officer and resisting arrest and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana, malicious destruction of building, operating a vehicle with a high blood alcohol content and disorderly conduct.

The father, of Milwaukee, faces a misdemeanor charge of attempted assault with a dangerous weapon. He threw a glass at Bay View Inn employees, according to court documents.

The two sat and drank at the bar Monday evening and paid with a credit card. Video surveillance shows Kenneth Helsper searched through his wallet before confronting a bar employee about what court documents state was what he believed was its theft. They threw glasses and their to-go pizza toward employees in the argument over the missing credit card.

Court documents state Grand Traverse County jail officers found the credit card in Kenneth Helsper’s wallet after their arrest following a high-speed pursuit down U.S. 31.

“That’s the best magic trick I’ve ever seen,” said his father when officers showed him the missing card, according to court documents.

Preliminary exams for the Helspers will be held in August.