Joseph Jakubowski Captured, May Not Have Targeted Churches, Schools

Jim Hagerty - Author

Dec. 20 2017, Updated 4:43 p.m. ET

Joseph Jakubowski, the Wisconsin man police feared was planning attacks on churches and schools, has been captured.

Jakubowski, 32, was arrested at around 5:30 a.m. on Friday at a campsite in the Richland County town of Readstown, Wisconsin. He was the subject of a nationwide manhunt after mailing a 161-page anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump and others earlier this month. An arrest warrant was issued for Jakubowski after he allegedly stole 18 guns from a firearms shop in Janesville, Wisconsin.

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As pages of the manifesto were released Friday, police say Jakubowski may not have been targeting schools and churches as initially reported. Investigators say Jakubowski is not the man involved in a gun incident near a school after he disappeared. In that incident, another suspect was arrested Wednesday night for allegedly picking up a gun at Lincoln Elementary School in Janesville on April 6. Witnesses saw the man get out of a car, retrieve a rifle from a terrace area, and place it in his trunk. No injuries were reported, and the name of the suspect has not been released as of this report.

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Jakubowski’s manifesto did not indicate he was targeting schools, police said. His rant about religion was not directed at specific churches or groups, although investigators say patrol units will be visible near Janesville churches Easter Sunday.

“Go and worship as you usually do,” Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden told the Wisconsin State Journal. “We will ensure that people can worship in a peaceful manner and safely.”

At a news conference on Thursday, police said they were working with Jakubowski’s family and friends in order to find him, and that a report he was planning attacks came from an informant who named him in the gun shop burglary.

The manifesto, police said, states that people were slaves to the government and a mass-marketed society. Jakubowski wrote that he stole the nearly 20 guns because he is a felon and unable to purchase them legally.

Jakubowski wrote that religion, not specific churches, was used to control thinking and fleece people of their money. No mention was made of individuals or organizations in Janesville, police said. Donald Trump is the only person the manifesto identifies by name.

“When you start reading it, to be candidly speaking, it rambles on,” Spoden said. “It doesn’t always make a lot of sense.”

Police in Waukesha County are looking into another letter that reportedly threatened violence at a church in Sussex, Wisconsin, but it isn’t clear if the document was penned by Jakubowski.

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Joseph Jakubowski made news when a video of him rambling as he prepared and mailed what police say was the multi-page letter to the White House.

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“Revolution,” Jakubowski says during the April 4 video. “It’s game time.”

The video was shot in part by another man. The man has not been charged in connection with the video and is not believed to be involved in the burglary.

Police surrounded Jakubowski after receiving a call from landowner Jeffrey Gorn. Gorn was riding an ATV on his property and checking deer stands when he came upon a tarp and the makeshift campsite.

Gorn said Jakubowski emerged from the homemade tent and said he was “going off the grid.” Gorn said the man was polite although Jakubowski did express his anger toward the government and how money was “controlling society.” At one point, Jakubowski asked Gorn to read letters he had written.

“He never raised his voice, never showed any sign of doing anything inappropriate. I shook his hand twice,” Gorn said. “He wanted me to see his points of view. He wanted me to see what he had written to various people.”

Readstown is about 125 miles northwest of Janesville. More than 150 law enforcement agencies were involved in the manhunt.

[Featured Image by Rock County Sheriff’s Department]


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