Onalaska teenager charged with attempted homicide after stabbing girl

The 17-year-old boy allegedly stabbed a 15-year-old girl multiple times while she was asleep on Sept. 2.
Austin Bailey
Austin Bailey(La Crosse County Jail)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 3:20 PM CDT
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ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) - An Onalaska teenage boy is charged with attempted homicide and burglary after allegedly stabbing a sleeping teenage girl multiple times with a knife on Sept. 2.

According to documents filed with charges in La Crosse County Circuit Court on Wednesday, 17-year-old Austin Bailey is charged with attempted 1st-degree intentional homicide with the use of a dangerous weapon and burglary while armed with a dangerous weapon.

In the criminal complaint filed with the charges, the Onalaska Police Department said that they were called to the mobile home park on 1025 Oak Street in Onalaska for a report of a battery at 3:36 a.m. on Sept. 2. A 15-year-old girl told the dispatcher that there was a person at her home trying to stab her and that her pinky finger was hanging off, and wasn’t sure where the person had fled to. Police began looking for the suspect, Bailey, with help from Bailey’s mother.

Bailey was found about a mile and a half north of the mobile home park a short time later, near the intersection of Oak Avenue North and Quincy Street, near where Onalaska Middle School is located. Officers ordered Bailey, who was holding a knife, to surrender, and Bailey asked the officers to shoot him. Police used a “less-lethal round” and hit Bailey in the leg, which some of the impact of the round was absorbed by a phone in Bailey’s pocket. Bailey surrendered the knife and was taken into custody, according to court documents.

The 15-year-old girl told police she was sleeping at home when she woke up to find Bailey attempting to strangle her. She told police that she was able to break free and began punching Bailey, who took out a knife and began stabbing her while she was on the bed. She said that she knocked the knife free and kept hitting Bailey until he took the knife and fled through the window, according to the criminal complaint.

The girl told police that she thought Bailey was probably trying to kill her and explained that they were together earlier in the night when Bailey dropped her off at home, but she had learned from a friend that Bailey had taken pictures of her without consent while she was in her bed sleeping and kept them in a folder called “love of my life.” She said she messaged Bailey to tell him to never speak to her again and he responded by apologizing. The girl then told Bailey in a message to “lose her number.” Copies of the messages were taken by evidence, according to police in documents filed with the charges.

The girl’s injuries included a stab wound to her head which required staples to close, a stab wound to the left side of her neck requiring stitches, several shallow lacerations on her upper left arm and chest, and a severe laceration to her left pinky finger, according to the criminal complaint.

Police said that during their search for Bailey, they were able to call him and he told police that he wanted to die by “suicide by cop.” Bailey also told police in this call that he stabbed the girl several times, and that he would meet them near Onalaska High School. Police found Bailey near apartments on Quincy Street, where he was taken into custody. Bailey was overheard saying he was going to prison for a long time, that he didn’t know why he did it and that he loved the girl, according to documents filed in court Wednesday. Bailey made similar statements to a friend in a phone call while police were searching for him, according to police. The knife Bailey was holding at the time of his arrest was taken as evidence, as were his cell phone and the phone containing pictures of the girl.

His initial appearance in court was Wednesday afternoon, according to online court records.