Over and over, a voice from local authorities called out for a man, saying they had a warrant for his arrest.
“Come out with your hands in the air,” the voice called out repeatedly.
A crowd gathered. And gathered. Their voices were tense, curious and concerned.
For seven hours near the intersection of 52nd Street and 24th Avenue, they watched as a reported standoff continued to unfold in the 5100 block of 24th Avenue Tuesday in the central city neighborhood. The incident, according to Kenosha Police, was first reported at 2:50 p.m. and broke up just before 10 p.m.
A man was believed to be holed up inside a gray two-unit home just north of the brick storefront housing several businesses. Authorities blocked off the intersection almost in its entirety two to three blocks in every direction.
The Kenosha Police Department, Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, the city’s gang unit and the county-wide specialized response team set up a command post nearby with heavily armed officers ready to fire rifles and tear gas. A robot made several attempts to breach a front window of the duplex.
By nightfall, residents from surrounding neighborhoods, passersby and motorists wanting a better look converged, anxiously awaiting the response team’s approach to the home. They pulled out phones, cameras and video apps, posting to social media, some delivering their own instant news updates.
The majority of the growing crowd numbering close to 300 was stationed southeast of the scene at Spanky’s Bar and Grill where they found the best view to watch the action just outside yellow crime scene tape that proliferated as officers monitored the crowd’s movement.
Eventually, authorities directed five large city dump trucks to block their view.
Repeatedly police shot tear gas into the home. They continued to tell the man to come out with his hands up. They had a warrant for his arrest.
Still, no one emerged from the home.
Earlier, the law enforcement robot broke through a window in the front of the home in the lower unit. The robot went to work knocking out glass shards from the window frame for at least 10 minutes after sharp shooters across from the home shot through the window at least four times.
Tangled in a dark curtain as night began to fall, the robot stopped and armed tactical team members approached the home, dropping what was believed to be gas bombs into the residence.
Over a scanner inside the bar, some in the crowd heard how the home still had a Christmas tree inside. Chatter filled the terrace area where a number of onlookers squeezed in under the palm trees, pressed up against a black iron fence or sat at tables as the dump trucks one by one arrived in formation to obscure the scene.
After another round of tear gas was fired shortly before 8:45 p.m., still no one emerged from the home. Cameras from TV news crews that had arrived moved a block west, but the view was no better.
Earlier, Josy Rosales, who lives in the unit above the surrounded home, was evacuated and police set up a perimeter. He hung out at Spanky’s not knowing when he and his roommate would be allowed back inside their home.
Rosales said that he didn’t hear any commotion at the time, but that the neighbors were downstairs outside talking to police. He said, at first, the police thought he and his roommate were involved.
“In his words (the officer) claimed the guy was in our apartment,” Rosales said. He said police said they could see what was going on. “He definitely wasn’t in our apartment.”
“I didn’t see him. But the voice kept claiming he was in the house,” said Rosales of law enforcement who had contacted his roommate that there was a situation.
Rosales, who has lived in the residence the last four months, said he didn’t know how long it would be before they could re-enter the dwelling.
“It doesn’t feel like they’re going to let us back in any time soon,” he said.
At 9:16 p.m. a loud boom could be heard along with faint voices coming from the direction of the home. And still no one had emerged. Forty minutes later, it was over.