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Update: Names, details released in Onalaska standoff case; $50,000 cash bond set

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The Onalaska Police Department has released names and new details regarding a standoff that occurred Tuesday.

Jarel Jenkins

Jarel Jenkins

Police the afternoon of May 10 observed Gary Willert, who had an active warrant for probation violation, in a parking lot on the 300 block of Main St., Onalaska. Jarel Jenkins, who had a felony warrant and several outstanding charges in La Crosse, pulled into the same parking lot.

Gary Willert

Gary Willert

A third individual, David Olsen, who had two outstanding warrants, was also onsite and taken into custody. Willert and Jenkins entered a nearby apartment building. Police through a window asked a tenant to instruct Willert to exit the apartment, and he complied. Willert was also transported to the La Crosse County Jail.

Jenkins was seen on an apartment balcony, and after making eye contact went back in the room. A perimeter was established outside the apartment complex. Police attempted to make contact to no response.

A search warrant was obtained and due to “safety concerns stemming from Mr. Jenkins history of possessing firearms and the seriousness of his outstanding charges” the assistance of the La Crosse County Emergency Response Team was requested.

Jenkins had barricaded himself in the apartment, which was occupied by two other individuals. The search warrant was executed shortly after 7 p.m. and negotiators were able to make verbal contact with Jenkins. At 8:33 p.m. Jenkins and the two other individuals exited the apartment and were taken into custody.

Jenkins was transported to La Crosse County Jail and found to have an outstanding warrant out of Winona County in addition to one from Monroe County.

A formal criminal complaint on the latest charges for Jenkins was not yet available, but the district attorney’s office said it has referred charges for possession of a firearm by a felon, three counts of felony bail jumping, obstructing or resisting an officer, operating after revocation and misdemeanor bail jumping.

Additionally, a search warrant on a vehicle is still pending that may result in additional charges.

Judge Scott Horne set Jenkins’ bond on Thursday at $50,000, citing his previous failures to appear and criminal history.

The district attorney’s office said Jenkins has five open cases in La Crosse and six open cases overall. Officials said there were multiple times when Jenkins did not show up to court and that he did not qualify for GPS monitoring because he removed a device during a previous incident.

Jenkins took issue with the bond, saying he could not afford to post that much.

“Given the criminal history, given the number of open charges, given the warrants, I have little confidence that you’re likely to appear or comply with the law if given a lower bond,” Horne said.

Jenkins will reappear in court at 2 p.m. Friday by which time the complaint is expected to be filed and the bond amount may be reevaluated.


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