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Mauston man charged with taking hostages

Mauston man charged with taking hostages


A Mauston man faces criminal charges after police say he took a child hostage and locked a woman outside.

John Michel, 50, is charged with taking hostages, failure to comply with officer’s attempt to take person into custody and resisting an officer. He faces up to 60 years imprisonment for the first charge.

According to the criminal complaint:

A Mauston Police Officer responded to a West State Street residence Feb. 2 after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance of “a male that had locked a female out of their residence.”

Upon arriving at the residence, the officer made contact with the female. She stated she was unable to get inside because the doors were locked from the inside “with chain type locks.” She said she had been locked out of the house since the night before.

The female stated she was concerned because she believed a five year old child was inside the residence but she “hadn’t seen him since yesterday.”

Law enforcement officials attempted to make contact with the male, identified as Michel, but could not see him from the windows of the residence. The female said she was in contact with Michel through text messages and told him to speak with the officers.

The officers determined forced entry into the residence would be necessary due to concern for the child’s well-being.

The chain lock on the door was disabled and officers entered the residence. When approaching the door to a back bedroom, the officers heard a male voice say “stay back” from behind the door.

An officer called out to Michel from the other side of the door and asked him to come out. Michel replied to stay back, and said “I have a knife.”

Officers attempted to kicke the door in but it was determined the door was barricaded from the inside.

When an officer asked Michel where the child was, he “gave a laugh” and said “compromise.”

Michel eventually admitted the child was in the room with him. He also stated “please don’t make me do this.”

A Tomah SWAT team was called to assist with the situation. A small explosive charge was used to disable the door and gain access to the bedroom. A member of the Tomah SWAT team executed the breaching charge.

Once inside, officers pushed Michel to the wall and removed the child from the room. Michel struggled against officers and a taser was eventually deployed on him. He was secured in handcuffs and transported to Mile Bluff Medical Center for medical clearance.

An officer stayed behind to secure evidence. A folding knife, Samsung cell phone and a pill bottle with 1.5 grams of marijuana were secured.

Michel is currently in the Juneau County Jail. His status hearing is scheduled for Feb. 28 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

You can reach Jake Ekdahl on Twitter @JakeaEkdahl or contact him at 608-697-6353

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