Pelican Street in Rhinelander was blocked off to the public for nearly seven hours Tuesday while police attempted to persuade a man –reported to be intoxicated, suicidal and holding a gun – to come out of a residence.
After more than six hours of negotiations and use of chemical agents by the Oneida County Special Response Team, the man, Mathew Carlson, 50, came out of 640 Pelican Street and was taken into custody. He was transported to Ministry St. Mary’s Hospital for medical evaluation and detoxification, the Rhinelander Police Department said in a press release. The firearm was recovered by police.
Police responded to Pelican Street at 3:38 p.m. after receiving a report that a male subject was armed with a 9mm handgun while intoxicated and suicidal.
Rhinelander officers subsequently requested assistance from the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office for both deputies and the Special Response Team.
The Special Response Team was requested to assist in establishing communications with the subject by approaching the residence with a tactical vehicle, as the subject would not communicate with law enforcement. While authorities attempted to persuade Carlson to come out of the house, a large crowd assembled in the area to watch the situation unfold.
Kayla Fitzgerald lives in neighborhood.
“I thought that maybe someone got pulled over, but then I started hearing the trucks and the announcements telling people to get out of their houses, and I knew something more serious was going on,” she said. “I'm not really scared by it at all, but it's definitely serious. The police haven't really been communicating with us, but we obviously know where we're supposed to be.”
Eventually communication was established and a negotiator convinced Carlson to come out of the house unarmed.
He was taken into custody at 10:16 p.m.
Rhinelander Police Chief Mike Steffes said Wednesday false information was spread about the standoff, including that there was a woman and child involved.
“Those are all fictitious reports,” he said. “We've heard everything from women and children being in there to it being a drug raid, all kinds of stuff. Those are all fictitious reports. He was alone in the residence.
Steffes also responded to reports that people heard what sounded like gunfire before Carlson surrendered.
“There was no deadly force shots fired,” he said. “What (people) may have heard was they employed chemical gas into the building which uses weapons to be able to propel it into the residence. There was no gun shot. They also did use less lethal rounds to break windows in order to get the gas into the building."
The department is expecting to refer charges to the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office related to Carlson’s actions.
River News Reporter Andy Hildebrand contributed to this article