Sheriff: Jakubowski living in 'very primitive' camp when arreste - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Sheriff: Jakubowski living in 'very primitive' camp when arrested; some weapons found

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Rock Co. Sheriff Robert Spoden speaking in Janesville Friday afternoon providing more information on arrest of Jakubowski. Rock Co. Sheriff Robert Spoden speaking in Janesville Friday afternoon providing more information on arrest of Jakubowski.

"We would like to say that this is a Good Friday in more than one way....," said Vernon County Sheriff John Spears Friday morning as he announced the arrest of the man wanted in a national manhunt, Joseph Jakubowski.

According to authorities in Vernon, Richland and Rock Counties, the Vernon County Sheriff's Office received a report of someone suspicious on a farmer's property on Estes Road off of County U near Readstown at 7 p.m. Thursday.  The person matched Jakubowski's description. He had been camping there and refused to leave when asked.  

The property owner who found the man who was at the center of an intense manhunt says the fugitive was cordial when he confronted him camping on his farm.

Jeffrey Gorn tells The Associated Press he was driving his four-wheeler on his property when he spotted a man camping.

Gorn says he didn't realize he was the subject of the manhunt. Gorn, a retired high school counselor, says he talked to the man for about an hour and never once felt threatened. He says the man he later learned was Jakubowski was angry with society in general, but never raised his voice.

Gorn returned to his house and called sheriff's officials.

Investigators familiar with the manhunt investigation and tactical officers were sent to the area that evening and overnight.  Tactical officers set up a perimeter around the approximately 150 acre area, approached the person at 5:50 a.m. Friday, determined he was Joseph Jakubowski and took him into custody without incident.  The Associated Press reports that firearms were found near his campsite. No transportation for Jakubowski was found in the area according to authorities. They are still trying to determine how Jakubowski got to Vernon County. 

"He gave up without any resistance and was taken into custody," said Sheriff Spears.  "He gave up peacefully.  Again there was an overwhelming force there.  I think he understood what he was facing, so he gave up peacefully."

Speaking later Friday, Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden said that the campsite where Jakubowski was found was "very primitive". Spoden said Jakubowski was using a tarp for a tent, appeared disheveled, and looked like he hadn't slept when arrested. 

"This morning, probably law enforcement officers, and many citizens throughout our country are breathing a sigh of relief," said Sheriff Spears added.

The FBI said that four handguns, a long gun, and a Samurai sword was found with Jakubowski. Authorities said Friday afternoon that they are still looking for the other weapons stolen from a Janesville gun store April 4. 

Vernon County Sheriff John Spears said that approximately 100-125 officers were in the area to contain Jakubowski as they moved in to make the arrest. 
Families in the immediate area had officers with them to protect them, Spears said.

The Bearcat tactical vehicle from La Crosse County was used to make first contact with Jakubowski.

The FBI also provided air assistance during the arrest.

Jakubowski is being taken to Rock County for questioning and charges.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office plans to release more information during a news conference at 2 p.m. in Janesville. 


More than 150 law enforcement officials had been searching for Jakubowski, 32, since April 4 when authorities say he broke into a gun store in Janesville, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) southwest of Milwaukee.

On Thursday, Gov. Scott Walker cancelled an Easter egg hunt, which had been scheduled for Saturday, citing security concerns. It was not immediately clear if the annual tradition would go ahead as planned now that Jakubowski is in custody.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office says Jakubowski wrote a 161-page manifesto in which he detailed a long list of grievances against the government and spoke of plans to launch attacks with the 18 firearms he allegedly stole.

Janesville Police Chief David Moore said Jakubowski cited concerns about President Donald Trump in his manifesto but that he didn't make any specific threats.

The sheriff's office said Jakubowski filmed a video of himself dropping his manifesto, addressed to Trump, into a mailbox and speaking of a "revolution" before the manhunt began. He warned in the video that whoever received the manifesto "might want to read it."

On Thursday, WTMJ-TV posted 35 pages of handwritten documents to its website that it said were an unidentified law enforcement official verified as Jakubowski's writings. Rock County Sheriff's Office Commander Troy Knudson said the writings appeared genuine.

"We the people should be out for these sick minded people belonging to the system! We need to spill their blood!" the document reads, going on to say priests and churches control U.S. presidents and banks.

Jakubowski has had several run-ins with law enforcement, most for traffic violations. But police say he previously resisted arrest and once tried to disarm an officer.


We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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