Gov. Tony Evers praised police for their actions after an armed man twice came to the Capitol with loaded guns demanding to see him.
Evers, who wasn’t at the Capitol at the time of Wednesday’s incidents, told reporters after touring a child care facility yesterday that he never talks about his security detail. But he added, “Anytime something like this happens, obviously, they reevaluate.”
Evers credited Capitol Police, who he said “took control of the situation,” adding such incidents are something you “don’t want to see happen.”
Lawmakers yesterday received a visitor alert that identified the man as Joshua Pleasnick, a 42-year-old Madison man who goes by the nickname “Taco.”
According to the alert and a Department of Administration spokesperson, a shirtless Pleasnick with a leashed dog and a handgun in a holster approached the security desk outside the guv’s Capitol office Wednesday afternoon. He told the officer at the desk he wouldn’t leave until he saw Evers and indicated he wouldn’t comply when told that it was illegal to open carry in the Capitol.
Pleasnick told police he would continue coming back to the Capitol until he spoke with Evers about domestic violence toward men. He also indicated it was likely he had access to a large amount of weapons and was comfortable using them.
He was taken into custody without incident for openly carrying in the Capitol and taken to the Dane County Jail. The gun was seized, and the dog was turned over to the local animal control.
The DOA spokesperson said the man bailed himself out and returned Wednesday night with a loaded AK-47-style rifle.
Capitol and Madison police engaged Pleasnick, who again said he wouldn’t leave until speaking with Evers. He gave police permission to search his backpack, and they found a police-style baton, which was illegal because the man didn’t have a concealed carry permit.
He was taken into custody again for a psychiatric evaluation.
The spokesperson said the rifle was seized for safekeeping and the baton as evidence for the concealed carry permit violation.
See the Capitol Police visitor alert here.