Minister Refuses to Leave Jail
September 1977 – Madison, WI
Reverend Wayne Dillabaugh was accused of misdemeanor battery for excessively spanking a 5-year-old boy. He was arraigned at the City-County Building and refused to either sign a signature bond or pay the $200 cash bail set by Judge Eich. Dillabaugh spent that night in jail. Around this same time period Dillabaugh had been very vocal about the evils of the downtown nude dance club, the Dangle Lounge.

Al Reichenberger, owner of the Dangle, decided it would be funny to go and pay Dillabaugh's bail. Along with attorney Eddie Ben Elson he went to the jail and paid the bail.

Upon learning who had posted bail Dillabaugh reportedly yelled “Oh, my God! No!” To which Elson replied “Don't worry! We'll get you out!” Dillabaugh refused to leave. He called the bail “funny money.” Meanwhile supporters of Dillabaugh were gathering outside. Elson filed motions with the court insisting that if Dillabaugh refused to leave jail, he should be charged room and board. Judge William Buenzli then ordered him released, with no bail posted. The Dangle was just opening for business at the time of his release, and being just a couple blocks away, Dillabaugh and his supporters walked down and held a rally outside. Reichenberger would later say, “Biggest night we ever had.”

Reverend Wayne Dillabaugh – Minister at the Northport Baptist Church
Al Reichenberger – Owner, The Dangle Lounge
Eddie Ben Elson – Attorney & Prankster

Another Eddie Ben Elson Story