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Cash bond set for La Crosse home invasion suspect

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A La Crosse man facing multiple charges after a police standoff will need $2,500 to get out of jail.

Jason Rankin appeared before a judge Tuesday, for the first time since being arrested by La Crosse police at a house on 10th Street. Rankin is accused of trespassing at two houses Saturday, avoiding arrest by hiding in a crawlspace for four hours at one of the homes, while threatening to kill officers multiple times.

Arguing briefly for a high cash bond was Shane Blodgett, who identified himself as a victim in the case.

“Mr. Rankin held our community in terror for seven-and-a-half hours,” Blodgett told Judge Ramona Gonzalez at the first hearing for Rankin in La Crosse County circuit court.

The judge said the hearing was primarily to set bond, not to hear testimony. The next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 24.

Attorney Vincent Rust argued for a signature bond for the 49-year-old Rankin.

“He doesn’t currently have a residence,” Rust said. “He’s staying at Houska Park,” which has been used as a campground for homeless people this summer.

Rust added that Rankin has gotten medication in the jail for schizophrenia.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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