Wisconsin Neo-Nazi Guilty of Battery

  • December 19, 2008

A Wisconsin neo-Nazi has pleaded guilty to battery, resisting arrest, and obstructing police in state court in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

The December 20, 2008, plea agreement requires Paul Paletti, a prominent member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM), to pay $1,713 in fines and to serve two years probation, during which time he is forbidden from engaging in any white supremacist activities. 

Paletti, 35, who has a tattoo of the number "88," the white supremacist code for "Heil Hitler," was originally charged with felony battery as a hate crime for assaulting a Mexican teenager outside a bar in April 2007, but the charge was reduced to misdemeanor battery as part of the plea arrangement.

Although Paletti insisted that he was not part of any extremist group, the ADL's Center on Extremism provided proof of Paletti's involvement in the NSM to authorities investigating the case.  Paletti is the NSM Wisconsin Membership Director.

During the probable cause hearing, the victim told the court that he and Paletti exchanged words in the bar regarding the shirt Paletti was wearing, which reportedly had the word "skinhead" on it. The victim testified that Paletti asked him if he were Puerto Rican.  When the victim said he was Mexican, Paletti allegedly gave a Nazi salute. According to the victim, Paletti and several friends followed him outside of the bar, where Paletti called him an ethnic slur and punched him. 

According to both the victim and the arresting Waukesha police officer, who also testified, Paletti and his friends were dressed similarly, with black jackets festooned with symbols, including a World War I German flag, a Confederate flag and a swastika. They also had black boots with red shoelaces, a common racist skinhead custom. The victim stated that one of the individuals with Paletti was wearing a T-shirt with an image of Adolf Hitler. Witnesses reported that Paletti and his friends were handing out white supremacist literature at the bar prior to the incident. 

The officer also testified that as he arrested Paletti, the suspect's friends gave a Nazi salute and yelled "eight eight."

Wisconsin is the second most active state in the country for the neo-Nazi group, following only Missouri.