UPDATE: Victim speaks out during bond hearing for man accused in La Crosse standoff

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — The 49-year-old man accused in a standoff lasting several hours Saturday made an appearance in La Crosse County Circuit Court Tuesday.

A victim involved in the case spoke up during the hearing for Jason Rankin, saying that he “held our community in terror.”

Investigators say Rankin walked into an unlocked home Saturday, was confronted, then ran and barricaded himself in the crawlspace of another home nearby for hours. Police say he made numerous threats and kicked at a K-9 during their attempts to get him out. Police used pepper spray once and “OS gas” three times before Rankin eventually surrendered.

Rankin’s attorney says he suffers from schizophrenia and lives at Houska Park. He is currently held on a $2,500 bash bond.

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LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Police confirmed a man is in custody following a four hour standoff Saturday on La Crosse’s south side.

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Jason Rankin

Police arrested 49-year-old Jason Rankin after he’d entered a residence on the 400 block of 10th Street South and barricaded himself in a crawlspace underneath the house. According to police, Rankin initially told officers he was stuck and could not find a way out. After officers removed a piece of plywood to make contact and help remove Rankin, he allegedly turned around and went back into the crawlspace. Authorities say he refused to come out, threatening to kill officers numerous times. After hours of the standoff, police said they used a chemical agent four times to try and get Rankin out, all the while Rankin still refused, allegedly arming himself with a metal pipe at one point.

After four hours, Rankin eventually crawled toward the opening where he was arrested. According to police, Rankin broke into another residence on 11th Street South earlier in the day. The resident in that home confronted him and Rankin ran to 10th Street South, where the stand off began, according to police.

Rankin faces a total of 9 counts, including Criminal Trespass to Dwelling, Disorderly Conduct and Harassment of Police and Fire Animal.

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LA CROSSE (WKBT) — An investigation is underway in the basement of a home on 10th Street S in La Crosse.

News 8 Now’s photographer at the scene said there was a large police presence, with officers in tactical gear and gas masks.

There appeared to be a SWAT vehicle, Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance and La Crosse police at the scene.

Shane Blodgett, a La Crosse resident, was also at the scene.

Blodgett said the suspect came into his unlocked home earlier today, but the suspect ran out when Blodgett’s daughter saw him in the kitchen.

“He then barricaded himself behind us in the house in the laundry room, and we’ve been waiting on the police to bring him out ever since,” Blodgett said.

This is a developing story.

News 8000 will share more updates as they become available.

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