A 35-year-old man is in custody after a six-hour standoff Sunday afternoon, May 2, in Chetek.
According to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, Chetek police responded to a 911 call at 4:02 p.m. at 1203 W. Banks St. on a report of a man who was acting strange and paranoid. When the police arrived, the man, identified as Kevin Swartz of that address, told law enforcement that he had a gun, would shoot them, and that he also had an explosive device in the house.
Negotiations continued for about 30 minutes, and Swartz came out with some sort of black device he claimed was an explosive. He that if police got any closer, he would detonate the device.
The Barron/Rusk County Emergency Response team was called to the scene along with the Chetek Fire Department, Wisconsin State Patrol, and state Department of Natural Resources. A perimeter was set up and nearby residences were evacuated.
Negotiations continued for several hours with Swartz as he was inside the residence. Police attempted to have him exit by using gas and other distraction devices, but he continued to refuse.
The Barron/Rusk Team breached the residence and made contact with Swartz as he crawled into the ceiling. Negotiations continued with the team inside the residence until Swartz fell through the ceiling and was taken into custody just before 10 p.m.
The Chetek Police Department searched the residence with a warrant and found no explosive devices or weapons. The device displayed earlier was a painted cylinder that did not contain anything.
"We want to thank all the citizens that were evacuated for their patience and allowing us to end this incident without injuries to the suspect or deputies," said Chetek Police Chief Ron Ambrozaitis and Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald.
The Barron County district attorney's office is expected to charge Swartz later this week.