Fox-urine defender wants trial by public opinion
WILLMAR -- Scott Wagar wants his case to remain in the media spotlight.
The rural Willmar man who faces three misdemeanor charges -- for an incident that included spraying toilet-papering teenagers with a squirt gun filled with water and fox urine -- wants the community to change its attitude about what is acceptable during homecoming week. The week's activities for some local high school students include throwing toilet paper in trees and throwing eggs and other items at other people's homes.
"I want enough pressure on the community to change things," he said recently in an interview with the Tribune. "I would like there to be a groundswell."
Wagar, 50, faces charges of fifth-degree assault, theft and disorderly conduct in Kandiyohi County District Court for the Sept. 16 incident.
He was released on his personal recognizance and ordered to have no contact with others involved in the case. His next court date, a pretrial hearing, is scheduled for today.
Wagar said he is not going to make a plea agreement or accept a continuance for dismissal, which means the charges against him would be dismissed if he met certain conditions for a year.
"I will not accept that, because I will not be able to protect my house this year," he said.
There are only two options, he adds, either a jury trial or the dismissal of all the charges. Wagar has not hired an attorney, and expects to use the more than $1,000 in his defense fund for either the costs of the jury trial or to pay the fine costs, if that's needed. The defense fund was set up by a group of local citizens at Lake Region bank.
Wagar wants community support for his next court appearance. "I would love to have the courthouse mobbed," he said.
The allegations against Wagar include that he sprayed the teens with fox urine, got into a wrestling match with one of the teens and then demanded $100 for a cell phone he found after the incident.
The homecoming week incidents at Wagar's home a few miles east of Willmar began eight homecomings ago, he told the Tribune.
He and his wife arrived at home to find "kids and toilet paper everywhere." They called the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office and the responding deputy asked if they wanted the teens charged or made to clean up the mess. The Wagars opted for cleanup. "That's what started it," he said.
Now, Wagar sits out every night during Willmar's homecoming week, watching and waiting for the young people, who usually arrive from the north off the highway. At first, the groups were six or eight in two cars, which escalated in later years to 20 to 30 teens. The groups have been as large as 80 people, he said. Usually, the activity happens on one night per year and the traffic and damage stop after homecoming week is over.
"When homecoming is done, it is done," he said.
Wagar says he and his wife have made "upteen jillion" calls to the law over the years about young people coming to their place to throw toilet paper and eggs.
"The officers did an awesome job two years ago," he said. The group was stopped before they got to the Wagar home.
This year, the youth changed tactics. Instead of coming from the north, they came from the south by walking through the farm fields around Wagar's 8½-acre homestead.
Using night-vision goggles, Wagar saw them coming. "They were flattening the (soy)beans as they came," he said. He met the group, which began throwing eggs, at the edge of his property.
"It was like a snowstorm," he said. "The eggs were just splatting everywhere."
Wagar said he tried to delay the group -- waiting for law enforcement to arrive -- by spraying them with the mix of fox urine and water in his super-soaker squirt gun. He said the mix was about one-third urine to two-thirds water. The idea of using something stinky came to him a few years ago.
"It would be awesome if they stunk when they got home," he said, adding that he bought some fox urine and a squirt gun three years ago.
One boy grabbed him around the neck and they struggled, he said, until they fell down on the ground. In an effort to get away, he grabbed the kid's finger, bent it and told him to let go. The kid did and ran away. That's about the same time as the deputy arrived, Wagar said.
Wagar and his son surveyed what was left behind after the incident. They found 55 intact rolls of toilet paper, four and one-half dozen eggs, a bag of plastic forks and -- most alarming to them -- two screwdrivers and broken drumsticks with sharp ends.
They also found the cell phone. Wagar says he tracked down the owner and talked with his father. Wagar was asking for $100 in damages to his place and the neighboring fields, which had hundreds of dollars worth of crop loss because the group trampled the soybeans.
The property damage was limited to eggs splattered on the house, which his wife washed off. There has not been serious damage, at least to the physical property, he said.
His wife suffers most from the emotional toll of the stress of homecoming week, he said. Previous groups of teens have written foul language and drawn male genitalia on the windows, scaring her and several in their blended family of six children.
Wagar claims there has been at least one instance of threatened violence against his family, but no police report was made because Wagar says he did not have a description of the vehicle involved.
Police reports during Willmar's homecoming week usually include numerous reports of contact with teens, toilet paper, eggs and other items on other people's property.
Tribune records from Sept. 16 indicate that the Sheriff's Office was called around 11 p.m. to the 500 block of U.S. Highway 12 East. There were 36 individuals there. Officers confiscated their toilet paper and told the group to go on their way.
The Tribune attempted to get a copy of the incident report from Sept. 16 from the Sheriff's Office, but the request was denied.
Wagar said he wants changes in homecoming. If people don't want toilet paper hanging from their trees, it is criminal activity, he says. The teens could still toilet-paper the homes of their friends or others who agreed to allow them to do it.
Wagar says citizens are afraid to speak up for fear that something will happen to them or their property -- a "sad commentary on our community," he adds.
What he wants, as an end result, is his name cleared, not just here in Willmar or Kandiyohi County, but across the nation because of the national publicity the story has received.
"I want a major apology, from the county attorney, the parents and their kids," he said.
He contends that the county attorney, Boyd Beccue, should have sought further investigation into the incident: "He should have known it was a hot-button issue."
Beccue has declined to discuss the case as it is the policy of the County Attorney's office not to discuss pending cases.