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Sword & Shield

Sword & Shield

The Student News Site of Vel Phillips Memorial

Joshua Pleasnick Released on Signature Bond in WI Capitol Case

Joshua+Pleasnick+Released+on+Signature+Bond+in+WI+Capitol+Case

On October 4, 2023, Joshua Pleasnick, entered the Wisconsin State Capitol shirtless, with a small dog, and open-carrying a handgun demanding to speak to Governor Tony Evers, who was not in the building at the time. After being arrested and posting bail in the same day, the 43-year-old returned to the Capitol that night with a rifle and was taken into custody. Following this second arrest, Pleasnick was not charged, rather, he was taken in by Madison police for a mental health evaluation. 

After first entering the Capitol, Pleasnick was stopped by a State Capitol Police officer and asked to fill out a form in order to meet with the governor. According to the later released charging document, “at no time did he attempt to brandish the firearm,” although when told he wasn’t permitted to carry the weapon openly in the building, Pleasnick refused to comply and was consequently detained. This document also reveals that Pleasnick claimed he was unaware that openly carrying a weapon is illegal in the capitol. In this initial interaction with the officer, Pleasnick said that he wanted to bring up his concern for men who are abused by women in cases that were not paid enough attention by police and the justice system. He also stated that the firearm was for self-protection from his ex-girlfriend, who Pleasnick said he had fear of harm from. 

Around 9 p.m. following the posting of bail, Pleasnick went back to closed Capitol grounds with an AK-47-style rifle and concealed collapsible baton in his backpack, again asking to see Evers. Pleasnick was then taken into “protective custody” regarding a “concerning statement” according to the state administration department. 

Facing a misdemeanor charge for the first arrest, Pleasnick was offered a $500 signature bond, along with a mandate that he not go within 1,000 feet of Evers, his family, or on Wisconsin Capitol grounds, and is not allowed to own any type of weapon. With the court date on Thursday, October 19th, it was described that Pleasnick never threatened to kill the governor, instead, only carrying the firearm into the capitol was considered a low-level crime. With the second incident, the consensus was that Pleasnick was in a poor state of mental health, and he correspondingly was sent to the Winnebago Mental Health Institute in order to be assessed. This professional help was consented to by Pleasnick, as he agreed to a Chapter 51 commitment, allowing him to receive treatment. As such, he is not being charged for the illegally concealed baton or the second incident.

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Jonathan Buscher, Editor in Chief, Webmaster
Jonathan Buscher is a senior and enjoys finding interesting and relevant news stories, both local and global, and crafting a story while writing his articles. Outside of Sword and Shield, he loves to run cross country and track, read, and generally spends time outdoors. He hopes to help provide a well organized and accessible website containing a wide range of articles and features.
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