No charges in Shorewood standoff
Keller Russell and Annie Scholz
Keller Russell reports.Photo: Video by tmj4.com
It's been three weeks since a dramatic police standoff shut down Oakland Avenue in Shorewood.
We've learned that no charges will be filed. So did police overreact? Shorewood Police Chief David Banaszynski doesn’t think so. He tells TODAY’S TMJ4 what was said in a 911 call sparked the large-scale response.
In it a woman gives her address in a panicked tone, “3575 North Oakland. My boyfriend’s got me hostage in apartment 302.”
The dispatcher tries to confirm the address. Then a moment of silence before a man starts violently yelling and cursing in the background.
The dispatcher is heard telling the woman not to hang up. But she does. There’s no answer when dispatch dials back. Shorewood police responded, pounding on the door.
“If they would have come to the door and said 'yea we're all okay', it would have all been over in five minutes, said Banaszynski.
Marquis Chapman and girlfriend Sharon Allen instead locked themselves in their apartment, refusing to answer.
In an interview a few days later, Chapman told TODAY’S TMJ4 this about the incident: “I never answered the door because I never called the police and I didn't want anything to do with the police. I went in the room. Me and my girlfriend went to sleep.”
He had earlier claimed he didn’t hear police knocking.
The couple was arrested four hours later after dozens of snipers, SWAT officers, and even a robot were called in. Multiple agencies assisted in the incident. Chief Banaszynski sat down to talk about it Friday after the District Attorney’s office announced there wasn’t enough evidence to issue criminal charges. He says the reaction to the scene was not over-the-top.
“Not really," explained Banaszynski. "This person had an apartment that he could see the street. He could see officers down below. What if he had a gun?”
The chief said the extra enforcement allowed officers to do their job safely.
As for the scale of the response, Banaszynski said the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office controlled it once they were called in to help. Shorewood requested an “entry team” to help them get into the apartment.
Shorewood’s chief isn’t surprised charges weren’t issued in the case.
“The bottom line came down to the victim in this was not as forthcoming and we didn’t want to put her on the stand.”
But the man involved, Chapman, is now charged with battery for allegedly beating Allen in February. It's a history police were aware of. Chief Banaszynski wouldn't change a thing about how they responded.
“That's just too much of a horror story if you walk away from something like this and then something happens.”