Two Woodville Police cars block the entrance to Lilac Drive on Sunday, September 24, 2017 as a six-hour standoff with a felony suspect occurs at one of the homes on the cul-de-sac. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
Two Woodville Police cars block the entrance to Lilac Drive on Sunday, September 24, 2017 as a six-hour standoff with a felony suspect occurs at one of the homes on the cul-de-sac. Photo by Paul J. Seeling
By Paul J. Seeling, Gateway News, with Lori Hetfeld, Woodville Chief of Police

WOODVILLE, WI – A concerned citizen called Gateway News today (Sunday, September 24, 2017) to report a police action in progress in the Village of Woodville.

Upon arriving around 2 p.m. at the intersection of Southside and Lilac Drive, the entrance to the one block residential cul-de-sac of Lilac Drive was blocked by two Woodville Police vehicles. Parked on Southside Drive was the large St. Croix County Mobile Command Center – Emergency Communications RV type vehicle. In addition to those units there were approximately 15 or more other emergency response vehicles that included several St. Croix County Sheriff’s SUV squad cars, one of which was the K9 unit. The Baldwin Police Department also had a squad car on the scene along with two Baldwin Area Ambulance Para-Medic units as well as an ambulance.

On this unusually warm afternoon of 88 degrees Lori Hetfeld, Woodville Chief of Police was standing in the street on Lilac Drive by her squad in full uniform with what I assume was a bullet proof vest. Chief Hetfeld looked warm and a bit tired.

At the time, the Chief said the situation was under control and that residents of Lilac Drive were being allowed to access their homes. When asked about the situation, she said she couldn’t really comment at that time and would be releasing a statement later. Woodville Officer Benson then came from the normal-looking house with the garage open.

At 3:20 p.m. this afternoon Chief Hetfeld did release the following by email to Gateway News about what had occurred at the residence on Lilac drive:

“On September 24th, 2017 at about 9:21am the Woodville Police Department responded to 703 Lilac Drive for a suspect wanted out of the Department of Corrections on a felony warrant. Woodville Police, Baldwin Police, and the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office responded due to the violent history with this suspect.

“Officers and deputies arrived and shortly thereafter, found the suspect to be in the attic of the residence. The suspect was threatening suicide by hanging or suicide by forcing law enforcement to use deadly force.

"For nearly six hours, officers and deputies negotiated with the man. Eventually they were able to safely take him into custody. He was immediately evaluated by EMS after being taken into custody.”

UPDATE: Gateway News has learned that the suspect is 39-year-old Lawrence Jesse Thomas of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Thomas is accused of failing to appear in court on drug-related charges in Eau Claire County.

According to court records, Lawrence J. Thomas has open bail-jumping felony charges in Eau Claire County, as well as other drug-related charges. His criminal record includes prior drug charges and a 2015 battery conviction in St. Croix County.

Thomas could face additional charges for resisting arrest according to authorities. No charges were filed as of press time and it is assumed he is currently in a medical facility under law enforcement supervision.