OCONTO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A Lena man has been charged with fourteen counts--including five counts of Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide--for an armed standoff with law enforcement.
Thomas Benser, 50, is accused of attempting to kill an ex-girlfriend, and later firing at law enforcement during a 10-hour standoff.
A criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News says the situation began to unfold March 10 when Benser went to the home of his ex-girlfriend. The woman told officials that she asked Benser to leave, and he grabbed her by the throat and choked her. The woman said Benser threatened to kill her.
Benser left and the woman called 911. Benser left her voicemails threatening to kill himself because he knows "the cops are looking for him." He also threatened to "put a bullet into every cop," according to the complaint.
On March 11, at about 1:30 p.m., officers surrounded Benser's home on Benser Lane. At this time, Benser fired four-to-five shots from the home, according to the complaint. One bullet hit a tree a lieutenant was standing behind. A second shot hit a wood shed a deputy was standing behind.
The officers took cover until the Brown County SWAT team arrived.
Another deputy was able to get Benser on the phone several times. Benser claimed he did nothing wrong and that he didn't want to go to jail. A deputy believed Benser was drunk because he was slurring his words.
The Oconto County Sheriff's office says the situation was resolved just before midnight when Benser was taken into custody.
Benser Lane intersects with U.S. Highway 141, so a stretch of the highway was closed to traffic as a precaution.
CHARGES FILED AGAINST THOMAS BENSER:
COUNT 1: Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide (Domestic Abuse)
COUNT 2: Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide
COUNT 3: Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide
COUNT 4: Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide
COUNT 5: Attempted First Degree Intentional Homicide
COUNT 6: First DegreeRecklessly Endangering Safety (Domestic Abuse)
COUNT 7: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
COUNT 8: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
COUNT 9: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
COUNT 10: First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety
COUNT 11: Strangulation and Suffocation (Domestic Abuse)
COUNT 12: Substantial Battery (Domestic Abuse)
COUNT 13: Failure to Comply with Officer's Attempt to Take Person Into Custody
COUNTY 14: Disorderly Conduct (Domestic Abuse)