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Pittsville man charged after armed standoff


PITTSVILLE, Wis. (WSAU) -- A Pittsville man remains in custody after a series of incidents that led to an armed standoff with police Thursday night.

26-year-old Randall Bakken had a bond appearance in Wood County court Friday.

He allegedly was recklessly endangering safety, and was intoxicated while using a firearm and driving a vehicle.

A caller to 9-1-1 at 10:57 p.m. notified dispatchers that Bakken had fired a 30-30 rifle and was trying to shoot the caller and then himself at his parent’s Veedum Street residence. Bakken fled before officers arrived. They located his vehicle in the Town of Port Edwards, and led officers on a one mile chase. Wood County Sheriff Thomas Reichert says Bakken got out of the vehicle and pointed the rifle up under his own chin.

Reichert says officers tried for about 45 minutes until Bakken surrendered his rifle. “Anytime that law enforcement is faced with this kind of situation, what we are really looking to do is for everyone to end up safe, and that happened last night (Thursday). We were engaged in a certainly high stressed, high tension situation, which ended with no injuries.”

Officers tried to apprehend him by shooting non-lethal foam projectiles and bean bags to subdue him. Bakken retreated to his vehicle when that happened.

Sheriff Reichert says the weather compounded the problems as they tried to talk to Bakken Thursday night. “These people are all standing outside negotiating this situation, and it’s ten below zero. Brutally cold, on top of the rest of it, so there’s a whole number of things that are at play during this negotiation that were very challenging to the officers.”

Bakken has a history of charges including drunk driving and obstructing officers.

(Our interview with Sheriff Thomas Reichert can be heard on our website, here.)