BOSCOBEL - A 32-year-old rural Eastman man was arrested after a six-hour-long standoff with law enforcement Friday in which a La Crosse woman was shot in the leg.
Bryant Matti faces tentative charges of first-degree reckless injury, injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, false imprisonment, criminal trespass to a locked dwelling, and two counts of bail jumping.
Charges had not been filed as of Tuesday morning, according to court records.
Boscobel police received a report of a man armed with a rifle who had barricaded himself in a house at 1306 Elm Street (Hwy. 61) around 10 a.m., possibly with a woman inside the house.
The call came from Matti’s father, Richard Matti, who is a correctional officer at the Wisconsin Secure Program Facility. Bryant Matti called the prison from Richard’s house and asked his father to come home. When Richard got there he noticed that the front door had been kicked in and that Bryant was inside with a high caliber rifle. That’s when he left and called police, according to Police Chief Jaden McCullick, who was part of the negotiating team in a command post set up in the parking lot at Gasser’s True Value Hardware.“We hated to take over their parking lot, but we didn’t want to set up in town or near the schools,” McCullick said.
Police established a perimeter and neighbors were evacuated, according to a Boscobel police news release. A negotiations team called Matti, but “efforts to get Matti to surrender were met with negative results,” according to the news release.
When gun shots were heard inside, law enforcement entered the house. They discovered a 20-year-old woman with a gunshot wound to her lower right leg, according to the news release. She was taken by Boscobel EMS to Gundersen Boscobel Hospital, then transferred to Gundersen Hospital in La Crosse with non-life-threatening injuries.
McCullick said Bryant Mattie and the woman were “acquaintances” and that she initially went willingly with him, “but she figured out somewhere between Boscobel and La Crosse that he wouldn’t let her go.”
Boscobel schools were on “soft” lockdown during the standoff and closed early Friday because of impending weather, but parents were asked to pick up students who normally walk to and from school. School buses and student vehicles were detoured around the scene.
“We continue to be in contact with Police Chief Jaden McCullick pertaining to their involvement with a situation in town,” District Administrator Greg Bell wrote on the district’s Facebook page. “Chief McCullick again stated there is no imminent threat or danger to Boscobel Area Schools.”
In addition to Boscobel police, the South West Emergency Response Team, Dane County Tactical Response Team, Richland–Iowa–Grant Drug Task Force, Dubuque and Fennimore police, Grant and Crawford county sheriff’s offices, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the state Department of Natural Resources, Grant County Emergency Management and Boscobel firefighters assisted at the scene.
“We’ve talked about these situations in the past,” McCullick said. “You hope you never need to use all these resources, but you’re glad you have them when you need them. The communication was unbelievable and the response was incredible. Obviously, you don’t want anyone to get hurt, but no one died. It was an acceptable outcome in that everyone went home safe.”
Matti was placed on 18 months probation after he pleaded guilty to felony bail jumping in La Crosse County for incidents last Jan. 21 and Feb. 24. Charges of battery or threat to a judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer, throwing or discharging bodily fluid at a public safety worker or prosecutor, resisting or obstructing an officer and two counts of disorderly conduct were dismissed but read in for sentencing.
Matti’s probation terms include bans on alcohol and controlled substances without a prescription, staying out of bars and “locations where drugs are used/sold,” staying away from “known drug dealers/users,” and writing a letter of apology to a police officer, according to court records.
Matti was placed on two years probation in La Crosse County in 2017 on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, with a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia dismissed.
Matti faces La Crosse County charges of criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct for an incident Nov. 30.