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Business owner threatens to shoot mayor

Aug. 18, 2009

A local businessman who made threatening calls to Wauwatosa Mayor Jill Didier's office because he was upset over sewer testing in his neighborhood has received a verbal warning from police.

The 55-year-old man, who owns a business on Center Street, wanted to speak with Didier last week, but her secretary said the mayor was in a meeting.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

The man told the secretary he was upset about smoke testing of sewers that was occurring in the neighborhood around his business and on three occasions threatened to "shoot whoever comes to my door."

Employees of the city's Engineering Department and the contracting firm on the job also reported the man had been shouting at them. During a confrontation, he said he would shoot the project manager and stated, "Why don't you send the mayor? I'll shoot her, too."

However, workers said the man had a sarcastic tone and they did not take him seriously. The project manager offered to meet with the man to discuss any issues but he refused.

The man told police the pressure from the smoke being blown into sewer lines caused his toilet to back up, a sink to overflow and the business to fill with thick smoke that made it difficult for him to breath. He said he had passed out for 20 minutes and was now having problems with sweating and blood in his stool.

City staff said all residents and business owners in the area were given notices about the testing procedures, which are being done to check for breaks in the sewer lines, and that the smoke was not toxic.

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