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Wisconsin man who fired the first gunshot as Kenosha rioters chased Kyle Rittenhouse arrested on violent felony charges

The Wisconsin man who allegedly fired the first gunshot as people chased Kyle Rittenhouse during the 2020 Kenosha riots has been arrested this week.

Joshua Ziminski, 37, reportedly admitted to investigators that he fired a “warning shot” into the air on Aug. 25, 2020. Immediately after, the then-17-year-old Rittenhouse was nearby and shot and killed his assailants – Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber.

Ziminski was charged with felony arson and misdemeanors of obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct with a deadly weapon.

WiscNews reported, “Joshua Ziminski was already out on bond and scheduled to appear in court Oct. 14 for crimes allegedly committed in August 2020 during the Downtown turmoil following the shooting of Jacob Blake by a Kenosha Police officer.”

A judge raised Ziminski’s bond from $1,000 to $13,000 earlier this year after he allegedly threatened and intimidated a witness who was set to testify against him.

On Monday, Ziminski was arrested for reportedly attempting to rob a Kenosha man at knifepoint in August. The Kenosha County Eye reported that Ziminski and his wife Kelly, 32, were charged with felony armed robbery, felony armed burglary, felony false imprisonment, felony intimidation of a victim, felony identification theft, and misdemeanor battery. He is also reportedly facing a felony charge of bail-jumping.

While awaiting trial, the couple allegedly attempted to rob a Kenosha man at knifepoint in the early morning hours of Aug. 26.

The victim reportedly told authorities that around 1:20 a.m., a woman who he knew as “Bonnie” came to his apartment. Bonnie – later identified as Kelly Ziminiski – allegedly asked to use the bathroom. When the victim allowed her in his home, he claims that two men forced their way inside. One of the men is allegedly identified as Joshua Ziminski.

WiscNews reported, “The man told officers that Joshua Ziminski told him to ‘Give me the money from the house’ and that he replied that he had no money at home but some in the bank. He said Joshua Ziminski then grabbed him by the arms and was holding a knife in his hand with the blade closed, according to the complaint. The man said the second man punched him in the face twice and then they pushed him into a truck.”

The men purportedly kidnapped the man and drove him to a gas station, where they demanded that he withdraw money from an ATM. The transaction failed at that gas station ATM as well as three others. They drove him back to the first gas station and he allegedly was able to escape and notify the authorities.

Joshua Ziminski allegedly told police that his wife cleans the victim’s apartment for $200 a week, and went to the man’s home at 1:30 a.m. so she could tidy up. Ziminski said he waited in his car, but Kelly returned to tell her husband that the man had hit and raped her.

The Ziminskis are being held on $100,000 cash bonds. They are scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 23 for preliminary hearings.

In November 2021, Rittenhouse was found not guilty for the murder of attackers Rosenbaum and Huber, or for injuring Gaige Grosskreutz during the Kenosha riots.