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La Crosse man barricades himself in crawl space, leads to 4-hour standoff with police



A La Crosse man is waiting to be charged after a four-hour standoff with city police on Saturday night.


Jason Rankin faces nine possible counts, including trespassing and harassing police — threatening to kill officers — after he barricaded himself under a crawl space in the basement of a home on 10th Street.

At first, the 49-year-old Rankin wouldn’t respond to police, but then finally said he was stuck behind a wall. Police removed some plywood and were able to see Rankin and the whole ordeal seemed to be over, as he was coming out. He then, however, quickly turned around and went back into the crawl space, and then burrowed himself further under the floor.

Police said in a release Rankin, at times, became agitated. He refused to come out and threatened to kill officers numerous times.

Police eventually “deployed,” what they called, “a limited chemical agent” which only made Rankin more agitated.

A police K-9 Unit was brought in but as Rankin started to come out, he then just kicked toward the dog. Police then moved on without the K-9.

Eventually, Rankin was given water to wash out his eyes but still wouldn’t come out.

Police used that chemical agent again to no avail. In fact, Rankin then armed himself with a metal pipe. Police went back to the chemical agent two more times.

After four hours, he finally crawled toward an opening, where officers assisted him out, ending the standoff.

Rankin was also, apparently, identified earlier in the day having entered a property on 400 South 11th Street without permission. When the resident of this address confronted him, Rankin ran into the South 10th Street address, where the standoff then began.

Rankin was booked into the county jail on Monday, and had not appeared in court as of Monday afternoon.

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