Three Marion County men held in WI jail after beating, robbing restaurant owner

CRAWFORD COUNTY, WI — Three Marion County men are in a Wisconsin county jail, after being arrested Wednesday afternoon in connection with the robbery of a restaurant and the severe beating of the restaurant’s owner.

According to the Crawford County Wisconsin Sheriff’s Department, 24-year-old Jacob H. Erwin and 22-year-old Thomas J. Wilkins, both of Salem, along with 24-year-old Kellen J. Jeffords, of Wamac, were arrested on several charges, including battery and assault.

Authorities say the three were in Wisconsin working for the railroad when they allegedly burglarized the Wasabi Japanese restaurant and attacked the business’ owner, leaving him with severe head and brain trauma.

Young Su Kim, 42, owner of Wasabi Japanese Restaurant, was in critical condition Thursday afternoon at Gundersen Medical Center in La Crosse, according to hospital staff.

Erwin and Jeffords are being held at Crawford County Jail on $10,000 cash bonds. Wilkins remains held on a $25,000 cash bond.

Deputies responded at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a burglary and assault at the restaurant, when a worker who arrived to open the restaurant told dispatchers that he found Kim sitting unresponsive in a chair, covered with blood.

Kim was ultimately airlifted to a hospital for treatment of severe head and brain trauma.

Law enforcement officers determined the business had been burglarized and Kim was beaten, says a press release. Investigators discovered evidence that led them to question Erwin, Wilkins and Jeffords.

Erwin, Wilkins and Jeffords are set to make court appearances Monday, Nov. 2, at the Crawford County Courthouse.

The incident remains under investigation and additional charges might be filed, according to the press release.