(Beaver Dam) A swatting incident near Beaver Dam Thursday afternoon almost diverted resources from a Fox Lake ice rescue. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call at 3:32pm from a man indicating that he had shot a male subject and had taken hostages at a residence in the area of Highway 151 and Forest Road in the Town of Westford, between the cities of Beaver Dam and Columbus.
Sheriff Dale Schmidt says his department responded to the scene and immediately made plans for entry to the home to rescue potential victims. Highway 151 was closed from County Highway G to County Highway S for about an hour for the safety off the motoring public.
The Dodge County SWAT Team responded to the scene, made contact with the homeowner and cleared the residence without incident. It was quickly confirmed that there was no shooting and no hostages were taken. Schmidt says it became quickly evident that this was most likely what is called a “swatting” event. He says these types of incidents are not only illegal, but they are dangerous and will not be tolerated.
To assist in the investigation, the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office has requested the assistance of the Wisconsin Department of Justice and the Department of Criminal Investigation. Schmidt says the sheriff’s office and the Department of Justice will work diligently to follow all leads.
He says that not only did the incident put the motoring public in danger, as emergency responders are forced to respond in emergency mode to these incidents, but the resources that are pulled away from other areas of the county can limit the ability to respond to other emergencies.
Shortly after this incident was resolved, the sheriff’s office responded to Fox Lake for a report of subjects who had fallen through the ice on the lake. The sheriff says had deputies still been tied up on the swatting call, it is quite possible that deputies would not have been able to respond as quickly to that incident and lives could have been put further in jeopardy. No injuries were reported in either incident.