SPPD: West Side Pursuit Ended Peacefully
Photo: A Stevens Point Police Officer heads back to his squad car just prior to a vehicle pursuit on Monday. (Contributed photo)
Initial reports told police that resident had a firearm, was in heightened emotional state
By Patrick Lynn
Brian Modrzewski was busy doing electrical work on a Mead Park sign when a Stevens Point squad car pulled alongside his van around 3:50 PM on Monday. Unnerved, he continued working until the squad car quickly pulled away and parked out of sight in a nearby alley. An officer soon emerged from the vehicle.
“I jokingly asked him if it was safe to be out here with my red rain coat on,” Modrzewski said. “And he replied back, ‘probably not’. But I and a coworker kept working and watching.”
Modrzewski said over the next several minutes additional police arrived, some with weapons drawn. Then at about 4:35 PM, he says a black pickup truck drove by, catching the officers’ attention. Police vehicles chased the truck towards the city limits, and according to Modrzewski, three Portage Co. Sheriff’s units soon followed. The pursuit continued outside of Modrzewski’s sight, and he went back to work.
What Modrzewski witnessed was at least part of the local law enforcement reaction to reports of a person in possible crisis- one who, according to initial information, was in possession of a firearm.
Assistant Police Chief Tom Zenner said the situation is a sensitive one, and authorities won’t be releasing many details.
“Officers initially responded to a west side location for a welfare check, and some of the reports did include a firearm at that location,” Zenner said.
Zenner said the resident involved, identified only as a male occupant of the home officers had been called to check, likely fled because he became upset at the sight of police presence. After a brief vehicle pursuit, Zenner said the man pulled over and surrendered to authorities without incident.
While no weapon was found, Zenner said the officers reacted the way they were supposed to.
“We train for the worst case scenario,” he said. “That’s our job. They did their job according to the way they were trained.”
Zenner did confirm the man was taken in for questioning and was later released. He faces no criminal charges.