Waukesha man charged with allegedly pointing gun at family, causing an hour-long standoff with police
A 30-year-old Waukesha man has been charged with recklessly endangering safety after allegedly pointing a gun at his wife and four children during an argument on Sunday, March 10 and causing a one-hour standoff with police.
The man, who will not be identified to protect the alleged victims, was charged on March 12 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with felony second-degree recklessly endangering safety, misdemeanor disorderly conduct and four counts of misdemeanor pointing a firearm at another. If convicted of all charges, he could face more than 13 years in prison, $65,000 in fines, or both.
According to the criminal complaint:
City of Waukesha police were dispatched to the family’s residence, located near the intersection of Madison Street and North Grandview Boulevard, a little after 1 p.m. on March 10 after receiving reports of a domestic abuse incident.
The man’s father-in-law called police after his daughter called him asking for help, saying that her husband had a handgun and was walking around with it. The father-in-law told police that he could hear a lot of shouting in the background before the phone went dead.
Two officers approached the residence and rang the doorbell several times, but there was no response. They then saw a small boy, later identified as the man’s 7-year-old son, enter the entrance hall of the home. The boy was hesitant to open the door, but did so after talking to police.
The two officers found the man’s wife on the phone crying in the living room with her three other children. She said that the defendant was in the basement. The children, who police said were “terrified,” said he had a gun.
Police evacuated them from the residence and asked the man’s wife what happened. She said that he was “whipping” the gun around and a child said, “He pointed it at mommy.”
She later told police that she and her husband had been fighting over family issues, and the previous night she took her children to a hotel to spend the night. She returned to the house earlier that morning and tried to stay away from her husband, but he instigated an argument with her. She said he seemed intoxicated and he told her that he wanted her and the children out of the house.
The man’s 9-year-old daughter said that her father had allegedly pointed a handgun at her mother, and the gun made a, “clicking sound.” She said he allegedly did same thing to each of the children, and each time the gun made a clicking noise.
According to a police department news release, all available officers, deputies from the Sheriff’s Department and the Regional Bearcat Armored Vehicle were called to the scene.
Officers approached the residence in a tactical mode and ordered the defendant to exit. He did exit, approximately one hour after the initial incident, and told officers he left the handgun in the master bedroom. Police recovered the weapon, a .45 caliber Springfield semiautomatic handgun.
The man blew a .01 on a breath test administered by police. He allegedly told police that he had drank approximately three cans of beer earlier that morning. He said that his wife had crushed one of the beer cans while they were arguing, spilling beer onto a dresser. He allegedly said he then retrieved his gun and put it in a holster on his right hip, fearing that his wife would try to take it away.
He claimed that the gun was unloaded and initially said that he did not point the gun at his wife and children. When police told him that his wife and kids said that he did, he allegedly said there was no magazine in the gun at the time.
He later allegedly changed his story, saying that he removed the gun from his holster while his children were behind him and, pointing the gun at the floor, locked and unlocked the slide release. While he was doing so, he allegedly said: “I can’t [expletive] take this anymore.”
At an initial court appearance on March 12, Judge Patrick Haughney ordered that the man was not to consume alcohol or possess any knives, weapons or firearms. He was also ordered to not have any contact with his wife, children, or any witnesses listed in the complaint.
His next expected court date is April 12.