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Onalaska Police make 3 arrests during Tuesday incident downtown

Five people were taken into custody Tuesday over the course of the over five-hour incident.
A wanted suspect was taken into custody in Onalaska, Wis. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.
A wanted suspect was taken into custody in Onalaska, Wis. on Tuesday, May 10, 2022.(Viewer Submission: Chance Dickman)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:06 PM CDT
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ONALASKA, Wis. (WEAU) - Onalaska Police say three people who had warrants out for their arrest were taken into custody Tuesday after an over five-hour-long incident in downtown Onalaska.

All told, five people were taken into custody after police said they saw a man who was wanted for arrest in the parking lot of a building on the 300 block of Main Street in Onalaska.

In a release, the Onalaska Police Department said that they saw 36-year-old Gary Willert, who had an active warrant for his arrest in Monroe County, in the parking lot while another person, 27-year-old Jarel Jenkins, arrived in a vehicle. Jenkins had an active arrest warrant in Monroe County as well as Winona County, Minn. A third person, 34-year-old David Olsen, who had active warrants in Vernon and Trempealeau counties, was taken into custody and held at the La Crosse County Jail. Willert entered an apartment building, but later came back out after law enforcement asked him to exit. Willert was also arrested and taken to jail.

Jenkins barricaded himself in an apartment with two other people. Police got a search warrant and called in the La Crosse County Emergency Response Team due to the history of charges Jenkins had, including one charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. After surrounding the building and executing the search warrant at 7:08 p.m., over four hours from the time the incident began, it wasn’t until 8:33 p.m. when Jenkins and the two others exited the building and were arrested.

Update: Incident has been safely resolved. Area is clear. The Onalaska Police Department is currently dealing with...

Posted by City of Onalaska Police Department on Tuesday, May 10, 2022

All three men were taken to the La Crosse County Jail Tuesday.

At 4:48 p.m. Tuesday, the Onalaska Police Department posted on Facebook that they were in an active police incident on the 300 block of Main Street in Onalaska and asked the public to avoid the area.

Police Chief Charles Ashbeck said Tuesday that officers saw a person with a felony warrant for their arrest enter an apartment building and was reported to be in an apartment with two other people. Because the wanted suspect had a history of fleeing police and possessing firearms, the La Crosse County Emergency Response Team was brought in due to safety concerns to serve a search warrant. No one involved was hurt.

Assisting the Onalaska Police Department and Emergency Response Team were the Wisconsin State Patrol, La Crosse Police Department, Onalaska Fire and Rescue, La Crosse County Emergency Communication Services, Tri-State Ambulance and Paul’s Towing.

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