New twist in Jakubowski case: A fake bomb

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Frank Schultz
Monday, April 17, 2017

JANESVILLE—Joseph A. Jakubowski planted a fake bomb at a Janesville gas station on April 4 to draw police away from the burglary he committed, a prosecutor said in Rock County Court on Monday.

Jakubowski started a nationwide manhunt when it was learned two days after the burglary that he had mailed a manifesto calling for revolution to President Donald Trump, and that he had talked about attacking government or public officials or schools, authorities have said.

Eighteen firearms, including an automatic assault rifle, were taken from the gun shop.

Jakubowski evaded authorities until he was found camping in a remote area of Vernon County on Friday. Five of the weapons were found at the campsite.

Jakubowski, 32, of Janesville made his initial court appearance Monday.

Assistant District Attorney Rich Sullivan said authorities recently learned of the fake bomb, which he said Jakubowski placed at a gas station on Janesville's south side to draw police there while he burglarized Armageddon Supplies, located just north and west of the city.

A clerk found the item, thought it was a prank and threw it out, Sullivan said.

Jakubowski appeared in court via video from the Rock County Jail, wearing jail orange. He is charged with burglary while arming himself with a weapon, felony theft of firearms and possession of burglary tools.

He argued briefly with Court Commissioner Larry Barton when Barton asked him if he understood the charges.

Jakubowski asked how he could be charged with possession of burglary tools, and Barton cut him off, saying he should not make any statement that might jeopardize his case.

“I'm not a slave, man! You cannot tell me what to do. I'm a free man,” Jakubowski responded.

Barton told David Hart of the public defender's office to cut off Jakubowski's microphone and talk to Jakubowski.

Jakubowski didn't continue the argument when the microphone was turned on, but throughout the hearing, he seemed displeased, making faces that seemed to indicate annoyance.

Law enforcement officials have said they feared Jakubowski was planning to use the firearms to commit mass murder.

The manifesto calls for the shedding of blood of oppressors in government and religion, but so far, authorities have not revealed evidence that Jakubowski planned to kill people.

The 13 missing weapons still have not been recovered, Sheriff Robert Spoden said Monday.

One of the weapons was an automatic M16 assault rifle, and authorities have not said whether the M16 has been recovered or not.

Spoden said detectives continue to question Jakubowski.

“He's slowly working his way towards the truth, but we're not there yet,” Spoden said.

Barton set cash bond of $30,000. Jakubowski also is being held on a federal detainer, as he faces charges in federal court. A federal indictment has not yet been issued.

Hart argued that $30,000 was excessive, while Sullivan said Jakubowski's efforts to evade capture show he is a flight risk.

Jakubowski asked for a preliminary hearing as soon as possible, even though the public defender's office has not appointed a permanent attorney to represent him. The hearing is set for 2:30 p.m. April 25.

Sullivan said after the hearing that the burglary tool charge refers to a hammer that Jakubowski is accused of using to break the glass on the door to the gun shop.

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