A 34-year-old Elroy man was referred to the Monroe County District Attorney for making terroristic threats after allegedly threatening to shoot Xcel Energy employees and cut down every power pole in the village of Norwalk.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office was called Jan. 17 by an Xcel employee who said Lucas D. Bender had called a company office because the power to his business, Long Shot Saloon, had been turned off. According to the report, Bender told an Xcel call service representative, “I will be sitting there waiting with a shotgun, and I’ll shoot the (expletive).”

The report says Bender continued to yell and swear at the employee and said, “There is going to be a big outage in the entire village if it’s not turned on … and I will cut every light pole in town.”

The Xcel energy office in Sparta was placed on lockdown because of the threat, and police drove to Long Shot Saloon to interview Bender. Police didn’t find Bender in the bar, but he later called police and asked if they were looking for him. He agreed to speak with police at the courthouse in Sparta.

Bender told police he had missed a utility payment and that the power was shut off Jan. 16. He said he made the payment the following day and was told by an Excel employee that it would take 24 hours to restore power. He said he became upset over the possibility that his pipes could become frozen.

The report says Bender acknowledged some of his statements were inappropriate but denied threatening to harm anyone.

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Tomah Journal editor

Steve Rundio is editor of the Tomah Journal. Contact him at 608-374-7785.

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