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A man who traveled from Europe to the town of Onalaska to stalk his ex-girlfriend struck her car with a baseball bat and ordered her from the vehicle at knifepoint, according to court records.

The victim said she met Gerwin Ferwerda, 22, who lives in the Netherlands, online in February 2017 and that she ended the relationship in December, according to the complaint filed Friday in La Crosse County Circuit Court.

He continued to try to contact her through text message, email and Facebook.

On June 23, Ferwerda notified the victim’s mother through Facebook that he was in La Crosse. On June 26, the victim met with Ferwerda, who said he was depressed and searching for closure.

Three days later, Ferwerda showed up at her house, and she told him to leave. She later found him standing behind her car as she entered the garage, where he pulled out a knife and a baseball bat, according to the complaint.

The woman locked herself inside her car as Ferwerda struck the window with the bat. He held the knife and told her to get out of the car, the complaint stated.

She called 911 as he tried to close the garage door; she was able to back out as he struck her window again with the bat. The victim drove off.

Officers found her window damaged and Ferwerda on a nearby bike trail, with a knife inside his backpack, according to the complaint. He also lied about his identity.

He later told authorities he waited outside the victim’s house for two hours, armed with the knife and baseball bat, according to the complaint. He denied planning to hurt her.

Prosecutors charged Ferwerda with stalking, obstructing officers and felony intimidation of a victim, criminal trespass, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct, all with use of a dangerous weapon. He is free on a $10,000 signature bond and returns to court July 27 for a preliminary hearing.

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Anne Jungen can be reached at or follow her on Twitter at @LCTCrimeCourts.


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