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Man barricades himself in bathroom, throws firecracker at police

JustKoch | phofrom Lake County Sheriff's office

Justin Koch | photo from Lake County Sheriff's office

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Updated: March 22, 2014 3:06AM

A Wisconsin man was arrested Friday after he barricaded himself in a gas station bathroom and threw an ignited firecracker at police officers in north suburban Wadsworth.

Justin Koch, 24, faces a Class 2 felony charge of aggravated battery to a police officer and misdemeanor charges of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct, according to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff’s office.

Officers responding to a call of a suspicious person about 5:30 p.m. found Koch locked inside of a bathroom stall in a gas station, which shares the location with a McDonald’s restaurant, in the 39100 block of Route 41 in Wadsworth, the release said.

When officers were able to kick open a panel on the stall door, Koch, of the 200 block of South River Boulevard in Plymouth, Wis., could be seen unresponsive and slouched over, the release said. He was also blocking the door.

As officers attempted to force their way into the stall, “three bangs rang out from within the bathroom stall and there was a flash of light,” according to the release. Police then exited the gas station.

Koch had apparently ignited a firework and thrown it at the police officers, “because he was scared,” the release said.

The Tactical Response Team and negotiators were eventually able to coerce Koch from the bathroom and he was arrested without incident, according to the release.

No one was injured in the barricade situation, Sgt. Sara Balmes said.

Koch is scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday.

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