- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 26, 2014

Officials in the small town of Stettin, Wisconsin, reportedly sent 24 police officers and an armored vehicle to collect a civil judgment from a 75-year-old man who was allegedly known as “argumentative.”

Roger Hoeppner said he was shocked to notice several deputies inside his home unannounced this month. Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Bean said the massive police response was necessary because officials expected to have to seize and remove tractors and wooden pallets to pay the judgment, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

Capt. Bean said that while Mr. Hoeppner was never considered dangerous, he was known to be argumentative. Mr. Hoeppner agreed to pay the $80,000 judgment after a visit to a bank, The Journal Sentinel reported.

Capt. Bean said the armored truck was summoned only after Mr. Hoeppner initially refused to come out of his house.

“I’ve been involved in about five standoff situations where, as soon as the [Marathon County Response Vehicle] showed up, the person gives up,” saving time, money and increasing safety, he told The Journal Sentinel.

“People may not always understand why, but an armored vehicle is almost a necessity now,” Capt. Bean said.

Mr. Hoeppner’s attorney, Ryan Lister, disagreed.

“Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice … and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment” with a show of force, he told The Journal Sentinel.

Asked if he was being argumentative with the police, Mr. Hoeppner admitted he was probably “hostile” though not threatening when confronted with a writ, he told The Journal Sentinel.

“The $86,000 figure is enough to shock most men,” he said. “And they wanted it now, today.”

Mr. Hoeppner estimates that his six-year-long battle with the town has cost him his retirement. He also claimed that his dramatic arrest was so troubling to his elderly wife that she had to be taken to the hospital to be evaluated.

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