April 17, 2019 – Hartford, WI – On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, between 2:27am and 3:07am, the Hartford Police Department’s Emergency Communications Center received multiple phone calls on our non-emergency lines from a caller whose phone did not provide any caller information.
The caller’s voice was muffled and difficult to understand in most of these calls. However, the Communications Officer was able to hear the caller using profanity, making disjointed threats against city hall, and on the final call clearly heard the caller state, “I’m going to kill everyone at the police department, so you better,” before hanging up on our call taker.
Based on these threats, Hartford Officers performed a check of the city hall building prior to allowing it to open for business that day, and officers from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol assisted our officers by checking the exterior and immediate area of the building. No suspicious subjects or activity were observed. As an additional precaution, city employees were advised that morning to report any suspicious or unusual activity they might observe to the police department immediately.
Subsequent investigation led to officers obtaining the private caller’s phone number. Using that number, a suspect was identified. This subject was known to officers from previous encounters, and had a history of violence and of possessing weapons.
On Wednesday, April 17 at approximately 2:10 p.m. , Hartford Officers contacted the suspect at their residence, near the downtown area. Initially, the suspect denied any involvement in this incident, but when confronted with the findings of our investigation to that point they ultimately admitted to having made these calls while they were under the influence of a controlled substance. When the officers placed the suspect under arrest the suspect made additional very graphic and detailed threats to kill our officers and their families. A search of the subject incident to their arrest revealed that they were armed with a 6-inch knife that they had concealed within their jacket.
The suspect, a 20-year-old Hartford man, was taken to the Washington County Jail on one felony count of making Terrorist Threats, two felony counts of Threats Against Police Officers, and four misdemeanor counts of Unlawful Use of a phone. Charges are being forwarded to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office for review and Prosecution. No further information on this investigation is being released at this time.
All suspects enjoy the presumption of innocence, and all charges must be proved in a court of law.