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Two Arrested After Standoff on Oakland Avenue

A male and female surrendered themselves to police after hours of not answering their apartment door.

A SWAT team vehicle is stationed at Shorewood High School. Photo: Jeff Rumage
A SWAT team vehicle is stationed at Shorewood High School. Photo: Jeff Rumage
Written and reported by Jeff Rumage

After a four-hour standoff that shut down Oakland Avenue, a male and a female involved in a domestic violence incident have surrendered themselves to Shorewood police.

Shorewood police say they received a 911 call about a domestic disturbance in an apartment above Harleys for Men at 3565 N. Oakland Ave. at 2:45 p.m. Friday. Police say they heard screaming on the other end of the telephone line.

Once they arrived at the apartment, police heard people inside the unit, but they didn't answer the door. The male resident called police shortly after 7 p.m. to ask if police were looking for him – despite hours of officers knocking on the door and asking him to come out of the apartment.

The male and female surrendered peacefully, and police say they will be interrogating the two and conducting a lengthy investigation.

About a dozen law enforcement vehicles — including a SWAT team vehicle and deputies wearing bulletproof vests — responded to the incident Friday afternoon. A robot used to diffuse explosive devices was also on the scene.  Shorewood police also called on the Suburban Mutual Aid Response Team for assistance.

During a press conference, Shorewood Police Chief David Banaszynski said he believes the man and the woman have been involved in at least one other domestic violence incident.

Tomas Norkus, who lives on the second floor of the building, said he heard a couple above him on the third floor shouting and arguing. He said the couple has a history of fighting and that police have been called to their apartment before.

After several hours of Oakland Avenue being closed, Shorewood police say they planned to open up Oakland Avenue shortly after 7:30 p.m. The street was closed from Edgewood Avenue to Capitol Avenue, and police were using Shorewood High School as a staging area and command center.
Alex Hilliard June 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM
I apologize in advance for any spelling or grammar errors in the above post....the patch is not super iPhone friendly.
N. Peske June 23, 2013 at 11:42 AM
Thank you, Alex. That needed to be said.
Alex Hilliard June 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM
Well Bob, maybe we are cut from a different cloth. I have always tried to only make statements regarding situations I wasn't involved in if I were educated in the area in which the situation was happening i.e.: I wouldn't tell a stock broker how to trade stocks, or a plastic surgeon how to put in calf implants. Are you firmialr with the SMART team? I believe it is a budgeted team that the cities and towns who belong pay into yearly to keep it funded. So when you speak of the cost of this event, I believe most of it is already funded. (Please dont quote me on that, but thats how a lot of regional teams work). Furthermore Shorewood does not have the staffing to handle an event like this on their own and contiue to cover the other calls in the village. And as for the money lost by the buisness effected...things happen. Does it stink for them? Sure. But this type of event is no different than if a drunk driver taking down a light pole and knocking out power to the area.
Bob McBride June 23, 2013 at 12:33 PM
So the only folks who can comment on or criticize police procedure are those that go through the police academy? I think if we applied that logic to everything we'd essentially shut down 99% of all discussion, in addition to inhibiting the ability of organizations charged with providing official oversight functions to do so. Alex, should the chief, if and when he finally does address the situation, come out with anything like you have, sans specific details to back it up, the citizens of not only Shorewood, but every other locality that had its resources drawn into this situation. have every right to question the Shorewood PD's handling of this incident. This isn't just about Shorewood, thanks to the decision to mount a response of this magnitude.
Bob McBride June 23, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Alex, if you buy a car, does it cost you nothing because you've already "budgeted for it"? Seriously, where to you think budget figures come from? You don't seem to have any problem with wandering into that territory yourself, do you? The point is that someone decided that this massive response to this incident was the right one to mount. I agree that Shorewood probably couldn't mount a similar response on its own. That doesn't mean it was the proper response, or that pulling resources away from other communities and leaving them temporarily shorthanded to attend to this one was the proper thing to do. Hence the need for the chief or someone from the department to justify the operation. Unless you're suggesting that every police action, everywhere, is always the correct one and beyond scrutiny, your argument that we dare not question the decision, along with your attempt to explain away the cost involved, doesn't hold up.
rodney piper June 23, 2013 at 02:45 PM
How many domestic disturbances will the Milwaukee Police Department respond to today? How many will involve swat teams and street closures. The Shorewood Police department needs to act a little more like Andy and less like Barney.
Greg June 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM
How many domestic disturbances has Shorewood PD responded to? How many of them have they had the SWAT team at? Why is this a big deal? What went wrong with what they did?
Keith Schmitz June 23, 2013 at 03:22 PM
Glad we found one part of government that Greg likes. I take it you too want those questions answered, or are thy rhetorical.
Cricket June 23, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Brown Deer PD criticized for not being proactive enough prior to the Azana shooting. Shorewood too much? I can't imagine the SWAT team get's too many calls so perhaps they can chalk it up to a training exercise. What's done is done. Thankfully no one was hurt and in that building there could have been numerous casualties. It was an inconvenience at best but better to be second guessed than not do enough. I can only imagine the comments if they had not done anything and there had been multiple casualties/fatalities.
Greg June 23, 2013 at 08:47 PM
I am more than willing to criticize law enforcement when they deserve it, I just don't think they deserve it here.
Keith Schmitz June 23, 2013 at 09:47 PM
Based on what?
Greg June 23, 2013 at 09:53 PM
Based on the story.
Alex Hilliard June 23, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Shorewood may go to 100 domestics today or tomorrow...most people let them in to their homes when 911 is called. When they aren't let in it becomes a problem. Why is the door not being opened? Whats going on in the apartment? I would bet that if the Milwaukee Police responded to a domestic and the parties refused to come out, the police would label this a barricaded subject and they would call out their Tactical Enforcement Unit...in fact 125 times last year the TEU was called out for a wide range of things, including Area searches...shame on Chief Flynn for allowing the tax payers to fund an area search with the departments expensive special unit! Would everyone be happier if after this Swat incident someone was found dead in the apartment...I guess that would justify the expense...and you are right Mr. Piper, the SPD should get rid of their guns(Andy only carried one when he had too) and rely on out whiting the criminals and tricking them with Aunt Bee's pies...cause that would do the job. I can only imagine the uproar you would have with the cost of a Line of Duty death funeral! And Bob I am very familiar with municipal budgets. The point of my statement was geared toward the fact that these monies are normally already a line item in the budget for. If you want justification why don't you phone the police department...I am sure the PIO will gladly speak to you. Don't forget, the police have a duty to act when 911 is called. So when they show up to an address, after getting reports of a verbal or maybe even physical fight they have to investigate. When someone doesn't come to the door you need to get inside, but you need to do so safely, enter the Swat team, with their cameras, flash bangs etc. They come up with a plan and then execute it....or I guess SPD could just say "No one answered, lets go home", perhaps then you could be the one to call the parents of the dead woman on the other side of the door when they find her.....
Brad June 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM
The Monday morning QB's are out in full force. I have talked to someone who has inside information on this incident and there was great concern for what was going on which warranted the response which happened on Friday. Lynne, it's pathetic that you find a police officer with a gun as someone who is "endangering folks in the neighborhood." Have you forgotten what side that officer is on? Or are you rooting for the street thug out there who is armed and has no concern for your safety or anyone else's. Maybe all of the officers should pool together and pay off the businesses that lost money during this thing. That's a fair assessment. Better yet, those who post on here should post their occupation and address of their place of employment. Then all of the cops who were involved can go there and tell you exactly how to do your jobs.
Bob McBride June 24, 2013 at 02:13 PM
I work out of my home, Brad. I'm easy enough to find. They're welcome to stop by and tell me how to do my job, as long as they're also willing to confirm your "inside information" (whatever that may be) that justifies the level of response this incident got.
Brad June 24, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Maybe that could be arranged Bob. And then you can critique their response based on all your expertise and the extensive training you have in law enforcement tactical training that you have from watching reruns of "Cops" while you work from home.
Bob McBride June 24, 2013 at 04:29 PM
I wouldn't mind at all Brad, but it certainly sounds like you're trying to intimidate people here. Are you a cop, Brad? Do you speak for the Shorewood PD?
Brad June 24, 2013 at 05:45 PM
No I am not a cop and no I don't speak for the Shorewood Police. I did grow up in Shorewood and I know a person who works there. I don't know how my comments are intimidating to anyone. A response like this was made for a reason and it shouldn't take any official word for people to figure that out. What matters to me as a citizen with a family is my safety and the safety of my loved ones. If the police had to respond to an incident which was potentially dangerous to me or my family and it was close to my home, I would hope for an appropriate response. My safety and the safety of my children come first. I wouldn't worry about trivial things such as having to divert my route home due to a street closure or local businesses having to close for a few hours. Do people actually think that the cops responded to this in this manner for kicks? If so, then they need a reality check.
wren June 24, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Wow. This thread has devolved into the type of ignorant sh!t that one expects on Yahoo. Grow up people. Citizens who live in the area want some explainations as to the size and scope of the response. What is so hard to understand about that? Where are the real journalists to keep the public informed? Or is this site just a propaganda piece for the "quaint lifestyle" of living in Shorewood?
Cricket June 24, 2013 at 07:34 PM
According to the news tonight they slept through the whole thing.
Greg June 24, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Domestic violence must be exhausting.
Alex Hilliard June 24, 2013 at 10:31 PM
I am just wondering if the same people would be crying foul if after the SMART team forced their way into the apartment they found the female dead....then would this have all been worth it? I mean I guess not because "they didn't get there fast enough" and "why didn't they just rush in". And I am sure these same people would complain if after an incident like this the Village said "for you troubles and for the scare we are going to give you $100", and they gave you a single $100 and not 5 20's....Police departments all over the country have policies and guidelines they follow to keep the public and themselves safe. Imagine if you will, someone close to you is involved in a domestic dispute, physical...a nice and or nosy neighbor hears it and calls 911. The police respond, they knock on the door, no one answers but they hear something inside, but to save tax dollars they say "Must be nothing, since they aren't coming to the door" and they leave...maybe you would like to be the one to call the parents of the girl and tell them that she is dead because we didn't want to burden the tax payers with our expensive specialized teams. Last year Milwaukee's specialized team the Tactical Enforcement Unit was called out 125 times, barricaded subjects, warrant service, and area searches..area searches?? Shame on you Chief Flynn and your waste of an expensive team to search an area for evidence...something a patrolman could do! If this same incident happened in Milwaukee, New York, Boston, Chicago, LA, etc. I would bet a very handsome wager that the same response would occur, would this be to much? Your right maybe we should adopt the response of the Mayberry Police, never carry a gun or if you do have it unloaded and the bullet in your chest pocket, use tricks and your Aunt's pies to capture criminals, I bet that would stop all crime in the Village. If you think this SMART response was expensive...I would hate to hear what you would say about the Line of Duty Death funeral and the benefits paid to the family....or is it shame on the cop for getting killed trying to protect someone???
Bob McBride June 24, 2013 at 10:38 PM
I wonder if that was the inside information warranting the response. They're notoriously heavy sleepers (get drunk, argue, continue drinking, argue some more, drink some more, pass out).
Jack June 24, 2013 at 11:53 PM
There are some basic criteria that prompt a tactical/swat response by the police. #1 – they are trying to serve a warrant on someone who’s known to be dangerous and most likely armed. #2 – There is a hostage situation where the hostage taker is armed, and negotiations have not resulted in a release. #3 – A criminal or criminals have barricaded themselves in a building, are armed and are firing on the police and/or the public. #4 – A well-known person is to be transported and it is believed an assassination attempt or an armed attempt to free them may take place. #5 – There is an act of terror or an act of terror is predicted to take place. #6 – In the event of a riot. No matter how hard I try, I can’t see which of these criteria Friday’s event came even close to meeting. I was home ill and watched the event unfold on the news and try as hard as the reporters could, they were unable to get the police to state that there was any solid evidence that any weapons were involved. Obviously the reporters were trying their damndest to confirm this in order to make their story more sensational, however they had no luck…and it seems to me that if there were weapons, the police would have made that known to legitimize their response. However, throughout the episode the news teams simply said over and over “the police feel there could be weapons inside.” That’s a pretty ambivalent statement and I’m sure the MPD feels that way about every traffic stop and every domestic dispute they attend to. I then saw the bomb-defusing robot enter the building and the news teams stated, “this could indicate there’s a bomb present.” Yet the building wasn’t evacuated. Even the news teams seemed confused. There’s the potential for a bomb but the salesmen are still in Harley’s? The salesmen are still in Harley’s and there’s camouflaged snipers on the side of the building? There were no weapons. There wasn’t a bomb. If there were, we’d know about it by now. SWAT response is literally always prompted by a known weapon situation that can’t be dealt with by the standard police force. If you boil this down, it was a loud, domestic dispute that by the time the police arrived had already somewhat settled down…”Once they arrived at the apartment, police heard people inside the unit, but they didn't answer the door.” …So the basic crime here is “disturbing the peace” and then not answering the door for the police. I’m not one who blames the police for everything. I feel they have an extremely stressful job that I wouldn’t want. I don’t condone police violence, but I understand how it can happen given the situations that they find themselves in. All that said, unless some earth shattering revelation comes out, I can’t fathom how anyone can believe this to be a logical response to: “Heated domestic argument with screaming…police arrive and suspected parties won’t answer the door...no weapons involved.” …And, that’s what this was. Regardless of what twist anyone wants to place on the incident, this sums it up. MPD handles hundreds of domestic disputes each year, many of them violent. Few have merited this response, and when they did, it was typically a hostage situation, deadly threats had been made, and weapons were involved.
Bob McBride June 25, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Alex, this whole issue could be put to bed if the Chief, instead of issuing statements to the effect of "We take domestic violence very seriously", would just come out with his basic reasons for handling THIS case the way he did. Instead, the Shorewood PD is allowing the story to tell itself along side the suggestion on his part that this is the way they handle domestic violence cases as a rule. This latest revelation, that the couple was asleep, doesn't exactly lend veracity to the "what-ifs" you're tossing around. There's a downside to this kind of response as well. It could have a chilling effect on other similar instances in the future. If the parties involved feel they're going to become the subject of a high-profile episode, they may be reluctant to call the cops at all. We had a domestic incident on our block a couple years back, involving a weapon (a knife) and including some emotionally overwrought relatives of one of the parties arriving at the scene, adding further confusion to an already tense situation. This incident was handled by about 5 cops, with a minimum of additional attention being drawn to the event. Ultimately, one of the parties was hauled off to jail. Nothing good would have come of making as big a production out of that instance as was made of this one. In fact, it might well have exacerbated the situation. Which is why leaving the impression that the response was predicated on the type of incident, rather than the specifics of the incident itself, serves no one well. Not the cops, not the couple involved in this incident nor potential victims of future, similar incidents.
Alex Hilliard June 26, 2013 at 03:09 PM
The deputy chief of the department was quoted saying "there was something during the 911 call that warranted this response" or something to that effect. How much more do you need???? Public Safety is built on what if's....plan for the worst and hope for the best....apparently you would rather them skimp on safety than go all out. I for one am not interested in them trying to play catch up mid way into something involving safety and the lives of people...
Greg June 26, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Paula Deen's opinion was that the response issue was not black or white.
Bob McBride June 26, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Alex Hilliard June 26, 2013 at 02:09 pm The deputy chief of the department was quoted saying "there was something during the 911 call that warranted this response" or something to that effect. How much more do you need???? ************* Eventually, an explanation of what that something was. I don't really think that's asking too much, given the extent of the response itself.
annie bennett July 24, 2013 at 06:41 AM
Agreed Bob, Rodney; but Brad, Wren; law enforcement or big brother in private independent taxpayer villages who choose to stay private at times make too grand stand exhibits to justify department taxpayer existence; been there, seen this in this village in the '80's and recently again! small towns, villages who choose to stay independent of large cities invetibaly result in demonstrating ' the redneck' persona behavior! especially when they allow individuals to feed them false information in order to satisfy that individual's monolistic obsession w/power; to add to this; u all have at least one two building apartment rental half resided w/the mentally ill there and run somewhat similarly as they rent to! that's a threat and what info is fed to the law enforcement who may be trigger happy so to speak to make points w/the village taxpayer! the info fed to spd was not and rarely is factual but fabricated; years of history on that one! but observationally on development which is occurring more there finally which s/d bring in more intelligent life working and contributing tax money; maybe these problems will disperse and go else where; meaning the problem tenants and then law enforcement won't have to grand stand against the mentally ill or anyone else to justify their existence; it's just like the system we're ruled under if we choose to be much longer; or countries dictated to or dominated by governmental 'heads' that your taxes pay for; think their still called services to the public but have gotten distorted in the definition and carrying out of; departments do grandstand to justify to the taxpayer they may be using their taxes justifiably; but that's always up to the observation of the taxpayer; in the meantime; those who feed law enforcement false info to satisfy themselves (the feeder that is) in one case that has been going on in your community for more than 40 years at one location; well then u will always have a grandstand play by the egotisticaly obsessed feeder of info and some of your law enforcement! can't say this any vaguer than this w/o violating the identity of the examples stated! hope u get the picture still exisiting in your village; out, out, 'd' spot! maybe the final solution! get rid of apartment buildings that house the critically, behaviorally ill and the ones that rent to them! anyway I digress! small town America will always behave redneck until someone changes things or not! ab
wren July 24, 2013 at 10:10 AM
@Annie Bennett--Your rambling post makes me wish you would be much more specific about your examples and "true" feelings. The "redneck" behavior? Haven't seen much of that in Shorewood, and I've lived here for quite a while. You want rednecks? Try living in Green Bay for twenty years. As for your commentary on the mentally ill--what would you like to see? The return of mass institutionalization and dehumanizing conditions? One history lesson about the lack of institutional control at MKE County Mental Health Complex should make anyone with a conscience shudder. That is unless you feel the mentally ill are a "subset" of humanity--if so--I hope your rambling hubris doesn't come back to bite you in the ass.

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