Rob Koebel, Wisconsin TV reporter, drunkenly asks cop: "Know who you're messing with?"

Koebel lost his TV job after he got drunk and peed outside an Apple Store.
Koebel lost his TV job after he got drunk and peed outside an Apple Store.

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Rob Koebel, a TV reporter for Milwaukee-based TMJ4 TV, was distraught over a book his ex-wife, CNN Headline News anchor Christi Paul, wrote about his alcohol-fueled temper. His solution, as is so often the case when people are struggling with alcoholism, was to drink.

As a result, he got arrested for urinating outside a Wisconsin Apple Store and then being belligerent with cops. He's since lost his job with TMJ4.

Whitefish Bay Patch tells the story of Koebel's arrest (emphasis mine):

A Bayshore security guard caught Rob Koebel, 41, urinating outside of the Apple store at 10:11 p.m. Aug. 21. Koebel, an investigative reporter with TMJ4's I-Team, lives in an apartment above the Apple store.

The security guard told police he saw Koebel and his friend, a 52-year-old man, leave Bar Louie on their way back to their apartments. The friend told police Koebel had been drinking. When Koebel started urinating outside of the Apple store, the security guard told him to stop, but Koebel ignored him.

Glendale police arrived at the scene shortly. Koebel took his phone out of his pocket, and when police told him to put his phone away, he said, "No, not gonna happen." He then put his phone back in his pocket, but then later took it out again.

When the officer asked Koebel to hand him his phone, he said: 'No, do you know who you're messing with?'

Koebel didn't stop there. In the police station, he advised cops, "Don't play games with me," asked them, "Do you want to take the gloves off or no?" called an officer a "fuck face," and used gay slurs. He was ultimately cited for disorderly conduct.

He kept his job for a few more days before news of his arrest became public, but resigned once the embarrassing story hit the news.

A follow-up column from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel got some of Koebel's reaction to the fiasco:

"I really don't recall a lot about that evening," Koebel said this week...

In a follow-up email, Koebel said that "what really set me off in a three-day drinking binge leading up to the arrest" were two interviews that his former wife, Christi Paul, conducted with a [TV] station in Atlanta promoting her book.

Paul is a reporter and anchor at the CNN headline news channel HLN. The book, Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt, was published in May.

A synopsis posted on Amazon says the book describes "the emotional abuse heaped on her by her first husband, whose violent, profanity-laced tirades left her feeling as though she had no value, no self-worth and nowhere to turn for help."

Love Isn't Supposed to Hurt is about Paul's marriage to Koebel, which ended 17 years ago. In the book, Paul uses a pseudonym for Koebel, but it's clear she's talking about her marriage to the disgraced former reporter.

Koebel told the Journal Sentinel he's "very hurt she would share my alcoholism on TV," adding that the book "destroyed his life."

That's one way of looking at it. Another is that his choice to drink to the point where he's peeing in public and trash-talking cops ruined his life, not somebody else's book.

Koebel did say, however, that he must "deal with [his] alcohol problem." Better late than never.

-- Hat-tip: Romenesko

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