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$240 fine and no sports for Wausau West students in nerf gun incident

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Nerf N-Strike Maverick Rev-6 by Jake Sutton via CreativeCommons.com (cropped)
Nerf N-Strike Maverick Rev-6 by Jake Sutton via CreativeCommons.com (cropped)

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The recent incident involving Wausau West students, nerf guns, and the police still has people asking questions.

The incident was at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday evening, when a resident on Stevens Drive near Wausau West High School called 9-1-1 reporting several people had what appeared to be weapons drawn on a car.

Police Chief Jeff Hardel says officers believed there was a serious, potentially life-threatening, situation unfolding with individuals carrying firearms. The officers arrived and directed everyone to exit the vehicle and walk backward toward the officers, one at a time. Only then could officers check the car, and find that the weapons were nerf guns commonly used by teens and children to shoot foam darts.

Six students received disorderly conduct citations, and have to pay a $240 dollar fine. Hardel says the citations were not for using the nerf guns, but were because the activity created a disruption in the neighborhood that caused residents to be concerned for their safety.

Some of the students are losing more than the $240 dollar fine. The Wausau School District has suspended them from athletics and activities claiming a disorderly conduct citation is a violation of the Athletic Code. If the students involved were to successfully challenge the disorderly conduct charges in municipal court, they will still have missed golf, track, and baseball contests because of the policy.

Wausau School District officials were not available to comment Thursday afternoon, so its unknown if the suspensions would be dropped if the charges are dropped. The district’s athletic board may discuss this incident at a meeting next week.

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