MPD officer charged for physical altercation; victim told deputies she was ‘afraid to call police’

MADISON, Wis. — The Dane County district attorney’s office has filed a disorderly conduct charge for Madison police officer Keith Brown, with court records detailing a physical altercation with a woman at a restaurant where the woman’s hands were hurt and she told deputies she was pinned against the wall.

As News 3 Now first reported last week, Dane County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Brown earlier this month on tentative charges of battery and disorderly conduct. He is one of three Madison police officers arrested this month in separate, unrelated incidents where another has also been charged with battery and domestic abuse.

The court records, which identify Brown as an officer with the Madison Police Department, say deputies were called to a restaurant in Madison, where deputies said the woman was “visibly shaken” and worried about reporting what had happened because the suspect was a police officer.

The woman told deputies that Brown had grabbed her phone after they took a photo together, refusing to give it back and at one point grabbing both of her hands and squeezing until her hands were cut in several places. Deputies saw injuries on her hands that looked like they may have been caused by long fingernails, keys or a ring.

The woman escaped to a hallway in the bar, where she said Brown then pinned her against the wall and she ended up on the floor. At that point, she started yelling for help and two employees came and told Brown to leave, which he did.

Employees told deputies that Brown had been drinking and confirmed other parts of the woman’s story as well. The woman first called her father after getting her phone back, who encouraged her to call police.

The woman told deputies that similar situations had happened with Brown before, where he had grabbed her by the back of her head and neck or grabbed her hair and pushed her down. She believed there was a connection between his physical behavior and a problem with using alcohol to cope, she told deputies.

Brown told deputies at the scene that the woman had taken his keys to try and get her phone back, and had grabbed at his neck and tried to grab at his necklace. He said taking her wrists was to “try and calm her down.”

RELATED: Three Madison police employees on leave after arrests; one officer charged with battery, domestic abuse

Brown was sworn in as an officer in 2015, according to archives from the Madison Police Department.

He was named by the state Department of Justice last year as the officer who inadvertently shot another officer in an incident on State Street involving Katoine Richardson. He was not charged in connection to that incident following an investigation from the DOJ’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

Brown is one of three Madison police officers who have been arrested this month. All of the incidents occurred while the officers were off duty, and MPD is not the investigating agency for any of the arrests.

All three were on paid administrative leave as of last Friday, a police spokesperson told News 3 Now. MPD officials have not identified any of the officers involved or provided additional details, saying investigation details needed to come from the arresting agencies.

The agency did not provide professional headshots of the officers in question, upon request. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has not answered questions left on voicemail or provided a mugshot related to Cary House, the officer arrested for battery and domestic abuse earlier this month.

The third was arrested for a first violation OWI in Columbia County.

Investigative reporter Naomi Kowles can be reached at