Racine police say Kurt Hanson, 53, of Racine, is the man who initiated a standoff with police over the weekend after an altercation with a neighbor. The incident ended after officers say Hanson let his dog out and police shot and killed the animal.
Hanson was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count each of first degree recklessly endangering safety – use of a dangerous weapon and failure to comply with officer’s attempt to take a person into custody, both with repeater qualifiers. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of disorderly conduct – use of dangerous weapon and obstruction. If convicted, he faces up to 17 years in jail and/or up to $46,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, Hanson was walking his dog late Saturday morning in the 1600 block of Russet St. when it defecated in a neighbor’s yard. When the neighbor asked Hanson to clean up after his dog, Hanson kicked the excrement into the street instead. The neighbor’s male relative went to Hanson’s house to confront him and that is when Hanson threatened the man with a machete.
Police responded to Hanson’s home after the neighbor called dispatch to report the incident. Officers say dispatch was on the phone with Hanson and that the defendant was threatening to kill police if officers didn’t get off his property. He reportedly said he would use high-powered rifles and his dogs to attack officers if they didn’t leave even as police relayed to dispatch that they wanted Hanson to come outside.
At some point, Hanson did come outside with his dog, the complaint reads. He “was staggering around the front yard and yelling” threats against police loud enough for neighbors to hear him. By this time, three officers were on scene and taking cover behind their squads.
Officers say Hanson went back inside the house and took his dog with him. Another 30 minutes passed before dispatch reported that they had Hanson back on the phone. Eventually, an officer was patched through directly to Hanson and spoke to him for 90 minutes in an attempt to get the defendant to come outside and surrender peacefully.
SWAT and the crisis team were activated, the complaint reads, because of Hanson’s threats against police.
At one point, Hanson agreed to come outside and speak to the officer, but that the officer should not come any closer because he had a crossbow that could pierce body armor and the officer would die when he shot them, the complaint reads. Hanson also said he would send his dog outside to bite officers “over one hundred times” and that he had lasers pointed at the heads of police.
Police say while on the phone with him, Hanson admitted to having a weapon when his neighbor came to his door and offered vodka to officers. Hanson was reportedly fading in and out and at one point fell asleep, disconnecting the line with the officer.
A search warrant was executed on Hanson’s home, and a machete was located.
As Racine County Eye reported Saturday, Hanson did let his dog out, and police shot and killed the animal. Officers advanced on the home and took Hanson into custody.
Racine Police Chief Art Howell confirmed Sunday that he is reviewing 911 tapes and video taken by neighbors of the situation, and he will communicate with media and residents once the review is complete.
Online records do not indicate if Hanson remains in custody or what happened during his initial appearance Monday.