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New Richmond, Wis., man charged with kidnapping two women in Afton

A Wisconsin man is facing five felony charges for allegedly kidnapping and assaulting two women at gunpoint.  

Washington County Sheriff’s deputies arrested James Lauck, 36, of New Richmond, Wis. Friday morning after responding to the 3100 block of St. Croix Trail South in downtown area of Afton. He faces five felony charges including second degree assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

Law enforcement responded to a possible hostage situation shortly after 6:45 a.m. When they arrived, two women frantically waved the deputies down and told them Lauck had been holding them at gunpoint, according to the criminal complaint filed Monday in Washington County District Court.  

Lauck allegedly hit and shoved both women and cut one woman’s hair with a scissors during the incident, the complaint read.

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One of the women told law enforcement that Lauck was her ex-boyfriend and she had recently broke up with him. He had been living with her for the past month, the complaint read.

Lauck allegedly told the women that he had six bullets, which he said he’d use on them, one of the woman’s stepfather and himself. Lauck had put a gun to her head and forced the women to lay on the floor facing away from him, according to the report.

The women broke through a basement window and escaped the home after Lauck went upstairs, according to the complaint.

The incident prompted a large police response because of initial dispatch information that Lauck had a firearm.

Lauck returned to the home on his motorcycle where deputies confronted him. He reportedly ignored directives to show law enforcement his hands and told deputies to kill him, according to the complaint.

Police said they found a loaded .45 caliber handgun in Lauck’s jacket pocket, as well as duct tape and a utility knife.

According to the complaint,  Lauck is also a member of a motorcycle gang.  

Commander Cheri Dexter, an investigator for the department, said law enforcement are still investigating the incident.  

Lauck previously served in the United States Army and the National Guard for a number of years. According to Lauck’s Facebook page, he was a squadron leader in the Army.

"We'll take everything into account, but the charges are incredibly serious," said Washington County prosecutor Kevin Mueller. "There's allegations of gang membership here, which is also significant."

A Washington County judge set Lauck's bail at $200,000 with an option for a $125,000 bail with conditions.

Court records show he has no prior felony convictions in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Lauck could face a maximum of 64 years in prison if convicted on all charges.  

His next court appearance is Sept. 7.

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