Tomah police arrest man at Econo Lodge

Thirty-six-year-old Russell Clausen is in the Monroe County Jail on three charges and a felony warrant

TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) – Tomah police officers arrested a 36-year-old man on three charges and a felony warrant regarding an incident at the Econo Lodge in Tomah Friday afternoon.

Assistant Chief of Police Eric Pedersen says Russell Clausen of Tomah is in custody at the Monroe County Jail for two felonies — battery or threat to an officer of the court or law enforcement officer, failure to comply with officer’s attempt to take person into custody, one misdemeanor — disorderly conduct, as well as a felony Department of Corrections Warrant.

Authorities were dispatched shortly after 1 p.m. Friday to the Econo Lodge to contact and remove a man from his hotel room after he was refusing to leave.

The man, later identified as Clausen, refused to open the door and instead told officers he was armed and wanted police to shoot him.

Russel Clausen 1


Clausen later locked himself out of the room and partially barricaded himself near a stairwell on the second floor of the hotel. Clausen threatened to kill authorities if they attempted to arrest him, claiming he had a .22 caliber pistol.

Clausen eventually complied with authorities after more than an hour of negotiating. Pedersen says Clausen did not have a weapon.

Clausen received a mental health evaluation before being taken into custody on three charges and a felony warrant without further incident.

Pedersen says hotel guests were evacuated and the parking lots to McDonald’s and Kwik Trip nearby were blocked off.

Clausen was on probation through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections prior to the incident.

The Tomah Fire Department, Tomah Area Ambulance Service, Monroe County 911 Communications Center, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Department of Corrections, Combined Tactical Unit and Crisis Negotiators all provided assistance during the incident.