Small Town Excitement

It's the eleventh day of April here in Central Wisconsin and we've just been hit by a winter snow/thunder/lighting/sleeting/frozen rain storm.  But that's not even the most exciting thing that has occurred in the last 24 hours. While the snow was gently falling last night, there was also some commotion in our neighborhood.

Let me give you the back story.  I've been fighting a terrible cold/sinus thing since Sunday night.  I missed work on Monday and I slept almost 15 hours that day trying to fight this nasty bug. I had to go back to work on Tuesday (sadly, I've run out of paid time off until next week).  Needless to say, two full days back at work while still sick really drained all my energy.

It was just about 10 o'clock when I finally fell into my bed and closed my eyes last night. Drifting into sleep, I thought I heard yelling outside. Thinking maybe the cold meds were causing hallucinations I pulled the covers up to my chin and ignored it.  Just minutes later my oldest comes into my room.

"MOM! The cops are in our back yard!"

I rubbed my eyes thinking this was a dream.

"What? Are you sure?" I ask, groggily.

My son replied, ""I heard them yelling at someone to stop and to get down on the ground and put his hands behind his head!"

I get out of bed and go to the window in his room that faces our back yard.  There's a two-lane thorough fair that runs behind our house and sure enough, two police squad vehicles are parked on the northbound lane with the lights flashing. We also have a bike path that borders our lot and I see a figure run from the path into our yard and disappear behind our back garage.

"What is happening?" I ask, and run to our back patio door.

I watch two more squad cars arrive.  Then there are police officers with flashlights following the suspect through the snow. At this same moment, our puppy decided to wake up and crawl out of her bed.  She squatted to pee and I quickly scooped her up before she could tinkle on the floor.  Thinking it's not a good idea to go out on the deck I head for the front door, connect Daley to her leash and trudge through our front yard.

As Daley is looking for her spot to piddle she's pulling me towards the back yard and starts to bark.  I quietly yell at her to be quiet.  Then I hear an officer yell, "Get down!" Not sure if he's talking to me,  I crouch down on the ground. If anyone could have seen me at that moment it may have looked like I was peeing outside with my dog.

My son comes outside and says he wants to know what's going on.  I'm too freaked out so I tell him we need to go back inside.  We drag Daley back into the house and plant ourselves by the back window.  Still not sure what's going on I jump on Facebook and post to my friends about what has just happened and discover that the local Pizza Ranch was robbed just after 9 p.m. The suspect fled on foot.

Now I see four more police vehicles lined up on the road. Dawson is telling me one of them looks like a police van of some sort and he thinks he hears dogs barking.  I then realize these are police K9s and this explains why Daley freaked out.

My kid can't sleep and wants to go outside.  I decide to go with him.  We walked halfway toward the back and see several officers talking on radios and shuffling around.  One of them spots us and we asked if everything was okay.  The officers told us to go back inside as they believed they had the person they were looking for.

Just before we turn around we see dozens of footprints leading to the area behind our back garage that my boys call The Fort.  It has a line of trees that borders our property and my kids loved to play back there and scare the pants of the joggers on the bike path.

"Mom, do you think he was hiding back there? Behind the garage? " Dawson asks.

"I don't know but it sure looks like it."

The cops didn't leave until almost 11 p.m. and we eventually fell asleep.  This morning we discovered the police did, in fact, catch the armed robber behind our house.  It probably wasn't smart of me to go outside during this chaos. We live in a very small town with a very low crime rate.  It didn't even occur to me to stay inside.  I was more worried about Daley peeing on the floor.  And yes, curiosity did get the better of me.

The story is all over the local news.  Check out the suspect's mug shot! And a Facebook search reveals he's from Delaware. I just can't believe it. Dude travels all the way to Wisconsin and robs a pizza joint! Guess he kneaded the dough?

(How's that for a corny joke?)

I'm so proud of the law enforcement officers that risked their lives to apprehend an armed suspect.  Thinking a little more clearly today, I realize how dangerous this guy was and so close to my home!
So grateful to those who protect and serve our community.


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