Beaver Dam man gets 3 years in prison for calling dispatch more than 80 times a day | State and Region

JUNEAU — A 42-year-old Beaver Dam man was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for making more than 80 phone calls to Dodge County Dispatch in a single day last summer.

John Cowen appeared before Dodge County Circuit Judge Martin De Vries. De Vries sentenced Cowen to an additional six years of prolonged supervision.

Cowen was convicted in February of one count of assaulting or threatening law enforcement and jumping bail, as well as misdemeanors resisting or obstructing an officer and illegal phone use.

Cowen was also convicted on three additional felony bail convictions in three separate cases, and an additional disorderly conduct charge. He was ordered to serve an additional three years of probation after completing his prison sentence and to pay a $500 fine for the various misdemeanors.

“Repeated breaches of duty, aggressive behavior and threats against a police officer warrant jail time,” Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said at sentencing. “Whether drunk or not, the defendant bears full responsibility for his behavior. Saying “I was drunk” does not excuse this terrible conduct.

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According to the criminal complaint, a communications officer contacted Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt on June 28 at 11:30 a.m. after receiving a non-emergency phone call to the dispatch center where the caller said, “I have a prediction this morning that one of your pigs is going to be shot.

County law enforcement was notified of the threat and found that Cowen made the phone call that same afternoon, according to the complaint. The phone call was reviewed and compared to another phone call made to the Beaver Dam Police Department the same day at 12:07 p.m. The caller asked for the police department and was told that the Sheriff’s Office of Dodge County had answered the phone for service. The caller hung up. The phone call was from a number linked to Cowen.

Officers were placed and maintained surveillance at Cowen’s home, and a detective from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office called Cowen’s number and left a voicemail.

Cowen called police back hours later, but denied any involvement in the calls.

According to the criminal complaint, Cowen denied having a firearm. He said he had strong feelings against the Beaver Dam police administrators who arrested him. He said he hated cops in general.

A crisis negotiator, who was not a police officer, was brought in to speak with Cowen. During the call, Cowen spent his time asking inappropriate questions of the negotiator. He also made sexual comments about a Beaver Dam police officer, according to the complaint.

Cowen was told not to call the police unless there was an emergency. In the early morning hours of June 29, he called dispatch seven times.

Dodge County Social Services was called on June 29, and an emergency worker attempted to contact Cowen on June 30, but was unable to do so. Cowen allegedly made 69 obscene phone calls to dispatch between 6:44 p.m. on June 29 and 3:22 a.m. on June 30.

Cowen was arrested on June 30 and attempted to inappropriately touch the arresting officer. According to the criminal complaint, he also harassed nurses at Marshfield Medical Center – Beaver Dam after being taken there for medical clearance.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.


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