Marathon County, Wis., recently sent 24 armed police officers and an militarized armored vehicle to collect a civil judgment from Roger Hoeppner, who is 75 years old and lives in a town of fewer than 3,000 people.
Marathon County Sheriff's Capt. Greg Bean expected his deputies would have to seize Hoeppner's tractors and other property to pay for the civil judgement on behalf of the Town of Stettin, but never actually thought Hoeppner was dangerous.
According to the UPI, Capt. Bean claimed that Hoeppner refused to come out of his house, so the armored truck was called.
"I've been involved in about five standoff situations where, as soon as the MARV (Marathon County Response Vehicle) showed up, the person gives up," said Capt. Bean.
However, this seems to contradict the original purpose of the armored military vehicle that the Marathon County Sheriff's Office gave on July 6, 2011 (video below).
"What it is designed to do is protect the occupants inside, or make an approach to a dangerous situation where we have to rescue a citizen or a fallen officer," Marathon County Det. Sean McCarthy told the Wausau Daily Herald three years ago.
When Hoeppner saw the militarized force outside his home, he called his attorney, Ryan Lister, who was stopped by an armed police roadblock.
"Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice, and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment," Lister told the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Hoeppner was handcuffed for allegedly not following the instructions of sheriff’s deputies, who accompanied him to a bank to pay the $80,000 judgment, which was over violations of zoning, signs, rubbish and vehicles. Basically, for not cleaning up his land as ordered to.
According to the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, Hoeppner is a retired paper factory worker who runs a repair business on his 20 acres of land.
Since April, the Town of Stettin has been fining Hoeppner a whopping $500 per day on top of its previous fines.
"People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now," claimed Capt. Bean.
According to RecordsPedia.com, there were 15 murders between 1999 and 2008 in Marathon County.
Hoeppner has filed a notice of claim and is considering a federal civil rights lawsuit. Hoeppner believes his legal battles have cost him about $200,000, which was his retirement fund.