ST. PAUL -- A St. Paul man with a popular YouTube channel is accused of shooting a woman with a stun gun after she refused his sexual advances as he drove her home.
Anthony Michael Wicklace, 20, was charged Tuesday, July 20, with one count each of assault with a dangerous weapon and criminal sexual conduct, according to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County District Court.
Wicklace, who describes himself as an advocate for governmental transparency, frequently films police and other public officials for videos posted to his Minnesota Guardian YouTube page, which has nearly 14,000 subscribers and more than 2.2 million views since 2019.
No attorney was listed in court documents for Wicklace, who remained in custody as of Tuesday morning.
About 11:30 p.m. Sunday, July 18, a White Bear Lake police officer was flagged down at White Bear Avenue and County Road E by a woman who said she had just been assaulted by a man who had offered her a ride home, the criminal complaint said.
The woman told the officer she had been removed by St. Paul police from a residence in the 100 block of Summit Avenue earlier that night, when a man named Tony — later identified as Wicklace — pulled up in a Crown Victoria sedan and offered her a ride home, according to the complaint.
Wicklace, who was wearing tactical pants and a duty belt, told the woman he was trained in “de-escalation skills,” and that he had driven to the scene after hearing about the incident on a police scanner in his vehicle, the complaint said.
The woman told police that Wicklace agreed to drive her to her father’s house in Mahtomedi, but on the way he allegedly began offering the woman money in exchange for sex acts.
As he drove, Wicklace pulled out his penis and began masturbating, grabbed the woman’s breast over her shirt, and said “something like, ‘You know you want me,’ ” according to the complaint.
After the woman pushed Wicklace’s hand away and repeatedly refused to engage in any sex acts, Wicklace pulled his car over on a residential street in White Bear Lake and demanded the woman get out, the complaint said.
The woman told police she refused because the street was dark and she needed to get home, but Wicklace began pushing her out of the car and shot her in the back with a stun gun, according to the complaint.
As the woman exited the car, Wicklace tried to slam the door against her body, before getting back into the car and driving away, the complaint said.
When police found the woman on White Bear Avenue, she still had a prong from the stun gun in the back of her shirt, along with two visible spots of blood.
The woman provided police with Wicklace’s license plate number, and he was arrested early the next morning at his home in St. Paul, where officers found a civilian model stun gun, pepper spray and body armor in his vehicle, the complaint said.
Wicklace’s name has appeared in several St. Paul police reports since he created his YouTube channel in January 2019, with people reporting at various times that he was filming them and making them uncomfortable.
He told police in March 2019 “that he frequently goes to government buildings to ‘test how they’ll respond to someone exercising their 1st amendment right,’ that he records the interactions and posts them on YouTube,” according to one report. He’d gone to a post office the day before and employees told police he “ignored all requests to stop filming, despite USPS policy that banned filming of the interior” and had a physical altercation with an employee.
Police cited Wicklace for disorderly conduct in a September 2019 case; it was dismissed a month later, according to a court record.
In a separate September 2019 case, Wicklace allegedly went in the St. Paul City Hall Annex, where he questioned and videotaped staff, according to a police report. One employee said she asked him to stop recording and he continued, including coming up to her desk. She told police his behavior scared her.
A man at a St. Paul mosque also reported people were fearful in October 2019 when a man was walking around the building’s entrance and filming, according to another police report, which identified the man as Wicklace. In video from the day that Wicklace posted on YouTube, he mentioned pulling out a Taser at one point, the report said.
In November 2019, Wicklace received a trespass notice from the Highland Park Public Library for filming children without authorized consent, which violated library policy, a police report said.