Taken into custody by a SWAT Team officer, 45-year-old Racine man charged after tactical situation

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Michael Pugh

RACINE COUNTY (WITI) — A 45-year-old Racine man has been charged in connection with a tactical situation that occurred Tuesday night, November 11th.

Michael Pugh faces three charges in the case: first degree recklessly endangering safety, disorderly conduct and failure to comply with officers’ attempt to take him into custody.

In August, Pugh was convicted of intentionally pointing a firearm at someone.

Racine police on Tuesday night were dispatched to a home in the 2400 block of N. Main Street for a report of a weapons violation. While en route to the home, police received information that Pugh’s girlfriend of six years was at a gas station near Main and Goold.

Police responded to that gas station and spoke with Pugh’s girlfriend, who told them she had entered their home and saw Pugh sitting in a chair, and shortly thereafter, it appeared as though Pugh was trying to conceal something — saying Pugh has been known to conceal bottles of vodka.

The complaint says Pugh’s girlfriend offered him some hot cocoa, and shortly thereafter, he began accusing her of stealing his cell phone and some coins from his pants pocket. It was then that Pugh’s girlfriend told police he grabbed a branch that was apparently in the living room, breaking it over his knee and threatening her with it. Pugh’s girlfriend told police he grabbed a lamp and smashed it to the floor — even after she told him she had not taken anything belonging to him. Not wanting to fight with Pugh, his girlfriend told police she went upstairs.

Shortly thereafter, the complaint says Pugh’s girlfriend heard what she believed to be a gunshot — saying Pugh has multiple firearms throughout the home. When she went downstairs, she saw Pugh sitting in the living room, holding a semi-automatic handgun, according to the complaint.

Pugh’s girlfriend told police when she went back upstairs, she heard another gunshot. She went downstairs to check on Pugh again, before going back upstairs.

The complaint says shortly thereafter, Pugh came upstairs and joined his girlfriend in the bedroom. At this time, Pugh’s girlfriend told police Pugh began “violently gesturing” with the gun he was holding — pointing it at his head and saying he was going to shoot himself. Pugh’s girlfriend told police she went downstairs, and that’s when she heard another gunshot.

When she went back upstairs to check on Pugh, she saw he was laying on the bed, still holding the handgun, with two loaded magazines next to him.

That’s when Pugh’s girlfriend told police she fled the home. She drove to the gas station near N. Main and Goold, and called police.

The complaint says Pugh’s girlfriend told police she has been with Pugh for six years, saying he has struggled with alcoholism — saying that when he drinks vodka, he can become violent. Pugh’s girlfriend told police she has been separated from him for two months — living at a hotel. She said recently, she moved back into Pugh’s home, believing he was getting help for his alcoholism, but she learned that wasn’t true.

Pugh’s girlfriend told police Pugh had several firearms throughout the home, and that they had been fired inside the home before, both on accident and when Pugh would fire at targets in the basement.

Police established a perimeter around Pugh’s residence as they heard multiple gunshots coming from the home. The complaint says Pugh was refusing to comply with officers’ requests he exit his home.

Eventually, Pugh was taken into custody by SWAT Team personnel, and he was taken to the Racine Police Department.

When he was interviewed by police, Pugh denied having discharged any firearm while inside his home.

Pugh has a preliminary hearing scheduled for November 20th.

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