Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
An officer from Somerset Police Department stands guard at the main entrance of Somerset Elementary School during a lockdown on Thursday, Dec. 19. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

New Richmond man charged in Somerset school threat incident

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News River Falls,Wisconsin 54022 http://www.riverfallsjournal.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/field/image/DSC_0453.JPG?itok=mm6Xytoy
River Falls Journal
715-425-5666 customer support
New Richmond man charged in Somerset school threat incident
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Andrew J.R. Wallace, 20, of New Richmond, was charged with disorderly conduct Thursday afternoon in connection with an alleged verbal threat Thursday morning at Somerset Elementary School. The incident caused all Somerset public schools to go into lockdown for the entire day with police stationed at each school.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Wallace was identified using school district security procedures, according to a press release from the Somerset Police Department.

“With the assistance of the New Richmond Police Department the man was located at a residence in New Richmond and taken into custody,” Somerset Police Chief Doug Briggs said in the press release.

When questioned by the police, Wallace declined to answer questions and had his attorney present, Briggs said.

Lida M. Bannink of Remington Law Offices in New Richmond, Wallace’s attorney, issued a response to the charges.

“At this time the only statement that we would like to make is that we deny the allegations and look forward to establishing this in court,” Bannink said.

The St. Croix County District Attorney’s Office was notified, and Wallace was taken to the St. Croix County Jail and charged, according to the press release.

Police were notified a little after 8 a.m. that an elementary student had been threatened by an adult at the school. The student told a teacher about the threat.

According to the criminal complaint, Wallace allegedly said “I am going to shoot you,” to a 9-year-old girl while walking down a hallway. No one else heard the statement.

The criminal complaint also states a teacher told police she had contact with Wallace before school. The teacher said Wallace approached her about where to sign in.

“It was an unfortunate incident that occurred at the elementary school this morning,” Somerset School District administrator Randy Rosburg said. “But at the end of the day we had safe students, a safe school and safe staff. We are moving forward with as normal a day as possible. We appreciate the efforts of everyone involved.”

Rosburg, who issued several incident updates throughout the day, said the tone in the schools was quiet Thursday.

“It was a feeling of the unknown — thoughtful. The focus was on what we can do to manage the situation in a safe manner,” Rosburg said.

According to an update written by Rosburg at 9:30 a.m., police searched the entire building and grounds, but the man was not found. All campus parking lots were also searched.

The suspect was taken into custody sometime before 11:45 a.m., according to another update by Rosburg.

New Richmond District Administrator Jeff Moberg said New Richmond public schools also took steps to keep students and staff safe, even though there was no reason to believe New Richmond students were in danger.

“As a precautionary measure we will maintain our diligence in our secure front entry ways and we will do indoor recess today,” Moberg said Thursday morning.

According to the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office, Wallace posted a $250 bail at around 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19, and was released. As a condition of his release, he is not allowed on any Somerset School District property.

Wallace is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference at 4 p.m., Jan. 15, at the St. Croix County Government Center in Hudson.

 ----

UPDATE:

Police are questioning a suspect in connection with this morning's verbal threat at Somerset Elementary School. Somerset public schools have been locked down since early this morning. 

"We are talking with the suspect and his attorney as we speak," said Somerset Police Chief Doug Briggs. "The suspect was aprehended in New Richmond, and the New Richmond Police Department assisted with the arrest."

Somerset District Administrator Randy Rosburg issued this statement at 11:45 a.m.

"The Somerset Police Department has the suspect from the morning incident at the public ES in custody. They are interviewing this person at this time. 

"All district schools will remain on lockdown with Somerset Police Officers in each of our four schools for the remainder of today. 

"Students and staff continue to be safe. 

"We are taking this threat very seriously."

--- 

UPDATE:

Somerset District Administrator Randy Rosburg issued this statement at 10:50 a.m.

"All Somerset Public Schools remain in external lockdown at this time with internal movement by students and staff as a precautionary measure for the remainder of today. Law enforcement has placed an officer in each of our four schools for the remainder of today. Law enforcement has finished the sweep of campus parking lots and gave the all clear of those spaces too. 

"We will run as normal of a school day, inside our schools, in all four schools for the remainder of today. All evening events are scheduled to go on as planned.

"Students and staff continue to be safe. Thank for all for your cooperation as we worked through this incident.

"We are taking this threat very seriously."

In addition, New Richmond District Administrator Jeff Moberg issued the following statement:

"We are aware that Somerset Elementary School is or has been in a lock down.  We have confirmed that the nature of the threat is specific and do not have any reason to believe that the threat includes New Richmond Schools or students. As a precautionary measure we will maintain our diligence in our secure front entry ways and we will do indoor recess today."

--- 

UPDATE:

Somerset District Administrator Randy Rosburg issued this statement at 10:15 a.m.:

"All Somerset Public Schools remain in lockdown at this time with internal movement by students and staff. Law enforcement finished the sweep of the classrooms in the public ES school. The building is safe and secure. Law enforcement did not find anyone in the ES that was not to be in that building. Law enforcement will now beginning the sweep of campus parking lots.

"All three public schools will remain locked down for the remainder of this school day as a precautionary practice. We will run as normal of a school day, inside our schools, in all three schools for the remainder of today.

"Students and staff continue to be safe and secure in all three schools.

"We are taking this threat very seriously."

---

UPDATE: 

Somerset District Administrator Randy Rosburg issued this statement at 9:56 a.m.:

"All Somerset Public Schools remain in lockdown at this time. St. Anne’s School was noticed right away of this incident. Law enforcement continue the sweep of the classrooms in the public ES school. Law enforcement will sweep all parking lots once they finish sweeping ES classrooms. A.m. JK students will be picked up at normal time and/or transported home on the school bus today.

"There will be no p.m. JK program today.

"Students and staff continue to be safe and secure in all three schools.

"We are taking this threat very seriously."

---

UPDATE:

Somerset District Administrator Randy Rosburg issued this statement at 9:30 a.m.:

"All Somerset Public Schools remain in lockdown at this time. St. Anne’s School was noticed right away of this incident. Law enforcement continue the sweep of the classrooms in the public ES school. Law enforcement will sweep all parking lots once they finish sweeping ES classrooms. 

"The threat that was reported was made by a male adult and was a verbal threat to kill an unidentified student(s). It is believed the male adult left the building. 

"The physical description of the male adult who verbally threatened ES student(s) this morning is: White male 6 feet 2 inches tall, big build, light blue jeans, red sweatshirt, white hat, bushy beard and shoulder length bushy dark hair. Please contact local law enforcement if you recognize the person who fits this description. 

"Students and staff continue to be safe and secure in all three schools. 

"We are taking this threat very seriously."  

---

UPDATE:

Somerset District Administrator Randy Rosburg issued this updated statement at 9 a.m.:

"All Somerset Public Schools remain in lockdown at this time. Law enforcement swept the main areas of the ES school and did not find the male adult. Law enforcement is currently sweeping each classroom. It is believed the male adult left the building. 

"Students and staff continue to be safe and secure in all three schools. A description of the male adult will be shared once details are finalized.

"We are taking this threat very seriously."

---

All public schools in Somerset are in lockdown this morning following a verbal threat, according to a statement issued by District Administrator Randy Rosburg.

"A verbal threat was made this morning by a male adult to ES students while in the ES," Rosburg wrote. "Law enforcement is sweeping the ES school at this time to verify the male adult is no longer in the ES School. All students are safe and with district employees in our schools at this time. We are taking this threat very seriously."

This post will be updated when new information is available.

Advertisement
Sarah Young
Sarah Young was appointed the editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, where she covered community events, spot news and education in Hammond, Roberts, Somerset and St. Croix County Circuit Court. Previously she free-lanced for the River Falls Journal, Hudson Star-Observer, RiverTown special publications and the Superior Catholic Herald. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. She lives in Prescott with her 2-year-old daughter Carolina.  
(715) 273-4334
Advertisement
Advertisement
randomness