In true classic American movie style, a small town in the state of Wisconsin took the unusual step of sending in a fully armed SWAT team to collect a £53k Debt ($86,000) owing from a 75 year old Debtor.
With a population of less than 3,000 people, the small town of Stettin, Marathon County in Wisconsin is hardly well known to people outside of the area but no nonsense town officials sent in fully armoured vehicles complete with 24 highly trained and armed officers to collect the $86k debt owing from local wealthy landowner Mr Roger Hoeppner.
Hoeppner has been involved in a lengthy legal dispute with the local authority concerning ordinance violations on the 20 acres of property he owns near Wausau, Wisconsin according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel news service.
A ordinance violation is not viewed as a criminal offence under state law and constitutes a breaking of local municipal government rules which makes this a more startling story.
In a press conference earlier this week, County Sheriff spokesman Chab Billeb cited that long running tensions and the threat of a potentially volatile situation had justified the use of armoured vehicles and officers.
“There has been a long outstanding problem between the resident and the township and its been contentious. We’ve had deputies go to town board meetings to do security. We know we’ve had our staff involved to mediate over a number of months trying to calm the situation but it never got any better” said the Sheriff spokesman.
The ‘Debt Collection’ swoop by officers resulted with the debtor in handcuffs after he failed to comply with requests but Mr Hoeppner ultimately agreed to pay the civil judgment owing to the town.
In return, Mr Hoeppner is now suing the Town of Stettin for a whopping $4.5m (£2.79m) for alleged ’emotional distress’, reputation damage and economic injury.