If you watched the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, the name Joshua Ziminksi is familiar to you. Ziminski was one of the Kenosha rioters who had a gun and fired it, which may have kicked off the deadly events that ended with Rittenhouse fighting for his life and killing violent rioters. Ziminski has finally been charged after a long battle with reluctant prosecutors with arson, disorderly conduct, use of a dangerous weapon, and obstructing an officer.
On the first day of trial, an incident occurred outside the courthouse. Witness Nathan DeBruin, whose photographs became part of the state’s evidence against Ziminski, says he was accosted by the accused as he was entering the building. DeBruin says that Ziminski started yelling at him and coming towards him, causing DeBruin to fear for his safety.
Video evidence outside the courthouse seems to back up that version of events. The Kenosha County Eye reported:
While walking into the court house at 8:45am, there was an exchange between Ziminski, and DeBruin, a witness subpoenaed to testify against him at trial. DeBruin told Deputies immediately and notified his attorney, Terry Rose. Rose told Judge Schroeder about this incident telling him that Ziminski yelled at DeBruin to stop multiple times and repeated that he wanted to see a large photo that DeBruin held. “That’s not me in the photo!” Ziminski allegedly said. DeBruin felt intimidated by Ziminski, who stands at 6′ 5″ with satanic tattoos on his face, neck and head. DeBruin was visibly shaking when he met up with his attorney outside the court room.
Rose told the judge what had happened, and Schroeder ordered a nearby deputy to take Ziminski into custody on a $14,000 bond.
DeBruin said, “Ziminski was clearly trying to intimidate me. Although I was taken by surprise and shaken up, I want the community to know I will not be intimidated by him either while in jail, or not. I was subpoenaed to testify and tell the truth and that is exactly what I plan to do.”
Ziminski’s attorney filed a three-page motion accusing DeBruin of lying about the incident and of making money on his connection to the Rittenhouse trial.
Related: Mistrial? Prosecution Withheld Evidence From Rittenhouse Defense
“That’s completely false,” DeBruin told the Kenosha County Eye. “I am not trying to profit from this. I’m just trying to get by,” he said. “I watched a man lose his life, and another get seriously injured less than 6 feet from my eyes. Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. I’ve been seeing a therapist and the treatment is expensive. With the new year, I now have another deductible to meet.”
DeBruin was the witness in the Rittenhouse trial who accused prosecutor Thomas Binger of asking him to change his witness statement. He told Judge Schroeder that he felt the prosecution tried to intimidate him into changing his story.
The Kenosha County Eye reported that after the Rittenhouse trial, DeBruin faced public scrutiny and threats from random people.
After the trial, DeBruin also told us about multiple occasions while at work when he was cornered and threatened by strangers. “You support a murderer!” a random woman and her husband shouted after they cornered DeBruin in a retail store where he was working. Even while off the clock, DeBruin was harassed many times in public. DeBruin remembered an incident when he was eating dinner with his long-time girlfriend at a local restaurant when another table told his waitress not to serve him. “I have received a lot of support from strangers as well, but my mental health was starting to diminish.” DeBruin then took an unpaid leave from from his full-time job as a retail merchandiser. He would eventually get short-term disability but it was less than half his normal salary. His long-time live-in girlfriend is now working three jobs to help living expenses. “My community and people from all over the world graciously donated money to me to help me get by during the absolute toughest time in my life. I may look upbeat and happy all of the time, but inside, I’m hurting a lot.”
Video from outside the courthouse is on YouTube that shows Ziminski and DeBruin arriving at the same time. There does appear to be an exchange, with Ziminski walking toward DeBruin, who is carrying a large photograph that is an exhibit for the trial. Kevin Matthewson, a reporter at the Kenosha County Eye, was also an eyewitness to this event and is filing a statement with the police.