Entries in Wisconsin (38)


Gators, Snakes, Gila Monster Removed from Wisc. Home

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(KENOSHA, Wisc.) -- Authorities and zoologists in Wisconsin removed a throng of exotic reptiles being housed in an urban residence this week — including a Gila monster, crocodiles and snakes — as shocked neighbors looked on.

Kenosha police responding to a possible animal cruelty complaint Tuesday entered a home, situated just a few blocks from the city’s central police station, to find a 4-foot skeleton of an alligator in a large aquarium, the body of a large burned snake lying in some weeds, a dead 4- to 5-foot alligator, and the carcass of a fawn.

In the basement of the residence officers found a homemade indoor pond and several aquariums of various sizes throughout the residence with live animals. One contained a large Gila monster, and another contained a 4- to 5-foot crocodile, while one housed multiple snakes. The animals were located in containers in the basement of the residence, where two 6- to 8-foot alligators were found in a homemade indoor pond. A “very large” snapping turtle was found in a tub, police said.

Lt. Brad Kemen said that the animals that were found alive were transported out of the residence.

“They’re in the care of the Racine Zoo, and they’re in good condition,” Kemen told ABC News.

Gregory Maser, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside, said that he was in a meeting with the president of the Racine Zoo when police got in touch about their discovery.

Maser said that he helped remove the animals, including five rattlesnakes, two American alligators, a crocodile, a Gila monster and a large alligator turtle.

“We had to be careful because the Gila monster is venomous, and the rattlesnakes are venomous,” he said. “The crocodiles were pretty small, I grabbed it. The alligators were a bit bigger. We had a few people, noosed them and taped their mouth.”

Maser said that the house hadn’t been lived in for what seemed like quite a while, and that the electricity and utilities were out. He said that he believed that someone had at least been coming back to occasionally care for the animals, and that the owner had done a lot of work on the house to have ponds in the basement for the animals.

There had been a small fire in the house, Maser said. He confirmed that a snake had been burned on the property.

Where the animals care from, and who owns the residence, is still unknown, according to Kemen.

A Kenosha city ordinance bans residents from owning wild animals, or an animal that may endanger life or property. Violators are to be fined no more than $300, plus prosecution costs, according to the ordinance.

“Once we investigate what animals were there, and they’re identified by the zoo, we’ll determine what if any charges will be filed,” Kemen said. Police declined to identify the owner of the home.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Memorial Held for Slain Wisconsin Police Officer

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(MILWAUKEE) -- Police officers and others across southeast Wisconsin are paying their respects this Saturday to Officer Jennifer Sebena.

The 30-year-old was found dead of multiple gunshots earlier this week as she patrolled the streets of Wauwatosa, a suburb of Milwaukee.

Sebena's husband has been charged with her death.

Associate Pastor Steve Sonderman eulogized Sebena as one whose life dream was to become a police officer and said, “Her life was about protection, service, sacrifice and investing in others.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Spa Shooting Suspect Wanted to Leave the State

Brookfield Police Department(BROOKFIELD, Wis.) -- Radcliffe Haughton had pleaded for help to leave the state before he allegedly opened fire at a Wisconsin spa on Sunday, shooting seven women and killing three, including his estranged wife.

"Need to get out of Wisconsin, HELP...," he wrote on Facebook Oct. 8, the same day his wife Zina Haughton, 42, filed for a restraining order against him.

He asked a day later, "Can anyone help me get out of Wisconsin?"

After a tense six-hour manhunt on Sunday, authorities found Radcliffe Haughton's body in a locked section of the Azana Salon & Spa, where he had apparently shot himself, Brookfield Police Chief Daniel Tushaus said.

Aside from Zina Haughton, the deceased victims were identified Monday as Cary L. Robuck, 35, of Racine; and Maelyn M. Lind, 38, of Oconomowoc.

Four injured women, ranging in age from 22 to 40, were taken to Froedert Hospital.  One victim was released from the hospital on Monday, while the other three women remained in satisfactory condition, according to Kathy Sieja, hospital spokeswoman.

Randall Haughton Sr., who shares a name with his son, said Monday morning that he had spoken to his son recently and invited him to come to his home in Winter Garden, Fla.

"My home was always open for my children to return," the elder Haughton told ABC News.

Police were called to the spa several weeks before the shooting because Radcliffe Haughton allegedly slashed the tires of his wife's car.  He was arrested and charged for the incident, and later ordered to turn over all guns in his possession to the sheriff's department.

A judge granted Zina Haughton's request and issued a four-year restraining order on Thursday, Tushaus said.

Investigators say they are still unclear why Radcliffe Haughton allegedly snapped, although they say he and his wife had been estranged for some time.

Witnesses say Zina Haughton's daughter, Yasmeen Daniel, 20, also worked in the spa and witnessed the shooting, which unfolded at 11:09 a.m. CST on Sunday.

"She had said her stepfather was in there trying to shoot as many people as he could," said Sallie Konruff, a witness at the scene.

Zina and Radcliffe Haughton have a 13-year-old daughter together, who was living with her father until the shooting, the source said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Spa Shooting Was Carried Out by Estranged Husband

Brookfield Police Department(BROOKFIELD, Wis.) -- A man who had been ordered to stay away from his estranged wife barged into a Wisconsin spa where his wife worked and shot seven women, killing three of them, before shooting himself to death, police said on Sunday.

It wasn't yet clear whether the wife of Radcliffe Haughton, 45, was among the dead.

Police said that it appears that Haughton started a small fire in the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield, Wis., that was extinguished by the building's sprinkler system.  Initial reports that Haughton left behind a bomb turned out to be false.

"We believe this incident is domestic violence related," Brookfield Police Chief Daniel Tushaus said at a news conference Sunday evening.

Tushaus said that on Oct. 4 police were called to the spa because Haughton allegedly slashed the tires of his wife's car.  She sought a restraining order on her husband on Oct. 8, and on Oct. 18 a judge issued a four-year restraining order, Tushaus said.

Sunday's shooting erupted at 11:09 a.m CT in Brookfield, and shortly after SWAT teams surrounded the spa with their guns drawn, preparing for a gun battle.

Tushaus said that police rescued up to 12 clients and employees when they first arrived and began a painstaking search of the 9,000 square foot building that includes two floors.  The chief said the building included many treatment rooms, often locked.

"We were expecting an armed encounter," Tushaus said.

They found Haughton in a locked section of the building where he had apparently shot himself, the chief said.

The four injured women ranged in age from 22 to 40 and were taken to Froedert Hospital with what were described as non-critical injuries.

The hospital was briefly placed on lock down and only patients with a police escort were being accepted.  Employees wishing to enter had to show identification.

Sheriff deputies searched the hospital before lifting the lockdown, apparently worried that the gunman had followed the victims to the hospital.

A "be on the lookout" alert was issued for Haughton and hours later, a black 2003 Mazda driven by the suspect was recovered outside of Brookfield, however police declined to say where it was found.

Tushaus said police believe the gunman took a taxi to the spa.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Three People Confirmed Dead in Wisconsin Spa Mass Shooting 

Brookfield Police Department (BROOKFIELD, Wis.) -- Three people have been confirmed dead in a Wisconsin salon and spa shooting Sunday afternoon that also left four people injured.

Police are searching for a man identified as Radcliffe Haughton, 45, from Brown Deer, Wisc. Authorities have surrounded Haughton's home and are asking the public for any knowledge about the suspect.

Police are looking for a black 2003 Mazda with Wisconsin plate 171-KZD in connection with the suspect.

The shooting erupted about 11: 15 a.m CT, in Brookfield, and shortly after SWAT teams surrounded the Azana Spa & Salon with their guns drawn, preparing for a tactical situation, ABC News' affiliate WISN reported.

Hostage negotiators are on the scene, however there has been no confirmation this is a hostage situation. The Milwaukee bomb squad is also assisting authorities.

Authorities declined to say whether the alleged suspect fled the scene or could be inside the spa, where the shooting occurred. The spa is 9,000 square feet and covers two stories.

Brookfield Police Chief  Daniel Tushaus confirmed three people were dead at an afternoon news conference. Four more people were treated with non-critical injuries. The hospital was placed on lock down, with only patients escorted by police being accepted.

The Westmoor Country Club, which shares a parking lot with the spa, has been on lockdown since the incident, said the club's chief operating officer Joe Coen.

"We didn't hear anything but ventured to the north toward the spa and we could clearly see police officers with what looked like to be a rifle and a few attendants were coming out of the building," he said. "We quickly retreated back to the building where authorities have told us to stay."

Coen said he has been "peeking" out of the building and has noticed the same SWAT squads are still in place with their weapon drawn, as they were when he first found out about the situation around noon.

Gov. Scott Walker pledged his support for the victims and the community.

"Senseless acts of violence leave us with heavy hearts and many questions," Walker said in a statement. "Our state will stand with the victims and their families, and we will provide them with the law enforcement and community support they need to heal in the coming days."

This is not the first time a violent shooting has rocked the area.

On Aug. 5, Wade Michael Page, an Army veteran and white supremacist, killed six people and injured three others before fatally shooting himself at a Sikh temple south of Milwaukee.

In 2005, less than a mile away, a gunman killed seven people and wounded four more at a church service at the Sheraton Hotel. Terry Michael Ratzmann, the 44-year-old gunman, then committed suicide.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mass Shooting Reported at Day Spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin 



(BROOKFIELD, Wis.) -- At least seven people have been shot at a day spa in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Four people with non-critical injuries have been taken to Froedtert Memorial Lutheran Hospital, and three others are expected to arrive.

The suspect is at large. Local authorities believe they know who they are looking for.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Annoyed Wife Turns In Husband to Police for ‘Getting on My Nerves’

Courtesy La Crosse County Sheriff's Department(LA CROSSE, Wis.) -- A woman who turned in her husband to Wisconsin police on an outstanding warrant said she did it because he was getting on her nerves.

Adrienne Bolds, 55, told ABC News Wednesday night that her husband’s friends called her around 1:30 a.m. Monday to ask her to pick him up from their house.  When she arrived, she said she found her husband drunk and belligerent.  She had to be at work at 5 a.m.

“I’ve always just went and got him and just ignored him,” she said, speaking of similar calls she’s had in the past to pick up her husband, Johnnie Bolds.

This time things were a little different.  She picked him up, drove him to the La Crosse Police Department and turned him in, even though she knew he would likely be held on the warrant.

“He was getting on my nerves really bad.  I was already nervous and shaky about going over there” to pick him up, she said, adding that it was safer for him to be off the street and she wanted him to get help.

Her husband was held on a warrant from a felony drunken driving conviction, the La Crosse Tribune reported.  County jail records online indicated no bond was set.

Adrienne Bolds added that her husband’s situation was taking its toll on her.

“It’s the kind of relationship, no matter how many times I pick him up, he keeps falling down,” she said.  “And all I’m doing is I keep picking him up, but he just can’t see to stand up on his own.”

The Bolds have been married since 1995.  They don’t have children together, but they and their children from other relationships are a close-knit family, she said.

Bolds said her husband wasn’t a bad person, but that he had serious medical problems and had trouble finding a job because of that.

Despite their trouble, she said, they get along well.

“We love each other,” she said, adding that even though their relationship isn’t like it used to be, “he’s still my husband and I’m still his wife, and so I’ll go and get him.”

Johnnie Bolds wasn’t angry when she heard from him on Wednesday evening, she said.

“He called me about an hour or so ago …  asked me when I was coming to see him,” she said, adding that she would definitely visit him in jail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Calif. Detective Questions Possible Link in Unsolved Murders and Sikh Temple Massacre

Scott Olson/Getty Images(ELK GROVE, Calif.) -- In the wake of the tragic shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin earlier this month, a detective in California is raising the possibility that the murders of two Sikh men there last year may be connected to the Oak Creek massacre.

Detective Kevin Papineau of the Elk Grove Police Department has been investigating the shootings of two Sikh men on March 4, 2011. Surinder Singh and Gurmej Atwal routinely walked around their neighborhood, but on their stroll that day they were suddenly gunned down. Singh died at the scene. Atwal managed to hang on for six weeks in a local hospital before passing away.

After white supremacist gunman Wade Michael Page killed six Sikhs in the Oak Creek temple on Aug. 5, Papineau decided to alert the FBI about the possibility that the two incidents might be connected.

"Given the fact they're Sikh, there's that possibility," Papineau told ABC News Friday. "I've been in contact with FBI agents to try to rule in or rule out any possible connection. They're looking into it and we haven't made any progress toward ruling it in or out yet."

Both Singh and Atwal were in traditional Sikh dress at the time of the shootings. All Papineau knows at this point is the gunman was in a tan or gold pick-up truck.

"It's unsolved," he said. "It's active, although the leads and tips to follow up on are kind of starting to run out."

"We're kind of stumped by it," he added.

Authorities in Oak Creek do not believe that there is any connection between the two incidents.

"From what I know of the situation I find it very unlikely," Oak Creek Police chief John Edwards told ABC. "They may be trying to connect it, but I don't think there's anything there."

On Sunday Aug. 5 Page, a former Army veteran with ties to white supremacist groups, went on a shooting rampage that killed six and wounded numerous others at the temple. Page then took his own life after being shot by an officer.

In a tragic development this week, another member of the temple was killed in an attack at the grocery store he owned in Oak Creek. While he was locking up his Harmony Foods store late Wednesday night along with his cousin, Dalbir Singh was suddenly shot and killed. Milwaukee police do not believe the shooting at the store was connected to the temple massacre.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting Victims to Be Buried

Scott Olson/Getty Images(OAK CREEK, Wis.) -- Five days after a gunman opened fire inside their temple, the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wis., will hold the first of six funerals Friday for the victims of a white supremacist's murderous shooting spree.

Sikhs will first gather for a wake at a high school, followed by a memorial service where Attorney General Eric Holder is slated to speak.  Early Friday afternoon, the Sikh temple will open for prayer as the Sikhs take turns reading over a thousand pages of their holy book until Sunday morning.  Three funerals will be held Friday and three more on Saturday.

It was last Sunday when white supremacist Wade Michael Page went on a shooting rampage that killed six and wounded others.  Page then took his own life after being shot by an officer.

The people wounded in the attack, including a police officer who was shot eight or nine times, are progressing in their recoveries.  According to the hospital where they are recuperating, Lt. Brian Murphy is now in satisfactory condition.  

Punjab Singh, 65, is still in critical condition, requiring mechanical support to breathe, after suffering a gunshot wound to the face.  The hospital said Singh may also have subsequently suffered a stroke.  

Santokh Singh, 50, is in serious condition after he had surgery for a gunshot wound to the chest.

On Thursday, the Sikh temple re-opened to members for the first time since the shooting.

"It's only open right now currently to those people who are volunteering to clean it up and to the cleaning agencies getting in there and fixing the things up," said temple spokesman Amardeep Singh Kaleka.

Later in the day, people came together for a community meeting that included an appearance by the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who warned that the threat to the Sikh community still remains.

"The Sikhs are such peace-loving people and so caring and the power of their innocence in the temple touches us in a different kind of way.  But they are no less safe than they were a week ago because those who hated them then, hate them now," Jackson said.

In addition to the appearances by Jackson and Holder, other prominent public officials such as Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan have also come to Oak Creek this week to support the Sikhs.

At an emotional candlelight vigil Tuesday night in a downtown park, Ryan said that "the Sikhs have been a great part of our community for a long time."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Wisconsin Temple Shooter's Ex-Girlfriend Arrested

Misty Cook seen here on far right. (Anti-Defamation League)(MILWAUKEE) -- Police say they have arrested the former girlfriend of the gunman who allegedly shot and killed six people in a Wisconsin Sikh temple over the weekend after authorities found a gun in the home they once shared.

Milwaukee police released a statement Tuesday after the arrest of Misty Cook, saying, "In a joint investigation with the FBI, the South Milwaukee Police Department has arrested Misty Cook on the crime of felon in possession of a firearm.  Charges will be sought through the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office."

A federal law enforcement official told ABC News that Cook, 31, was taken into custody on the grounds that she is prohibited from having a gun as a convicted felon.  Cook was charged in 2002 for fleeing and eluding a traffic officer.  There's no indication she was involved in last Sunday's attack.  

Much like her ex-boyfriend, Wade Michael Page, according to the Anti-Defamation League, Cook was involved in white supremacy.

Cook's relationship with Page fell apart in the weeks leading up to his alleged shooting spree at a Sikh temple.  Sharon and Terry Page -- who said they are unrelated to the alleged gunman -- live below Cook, who at one time shared an apartment with Wade Michael Page.

According to Sharon and Terry Page, Cook and Wade moved in to the apartment on March 1, but Wade moved out in the middle of June.  After that point, according to comments Cook made to Sharon, Wade virtually disappeared.

"She told us that for six weeks she hadn't heard anything of him," Sharon said.  "That would have been about the time after he left, so she must have gotten a hold of a co-worker and said he hadn't been at work for three weeks.  She said he kind of just dropped off the face of the earth."

Sharon and Terry Page said Cook and Wade were both quiet and "never really talked to us at all really."

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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