JUNEAU – A 42-year-old Beaver Dam man was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday 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 an extended supervision.
Cowen was found guilty in February of a felony count of battery or threat to law enforcement and bail jumping, along with misdemeanor counts of resisting or obstructing an officer and unlawful phone use.
Cowen was also sentenced on three additional convictions for felony bail jumping in three separate cases, and one additional charge of disorderly conduct. He was ordered to serve an additional three years of probation after completing the prison sentence and was ordered to pay $500 in fines for the various misdemeanor offenses.
“The repeated bond violations, assaultive behavior and threats to police officer call for a prison sentence,” Dodge County District Attorney Kurt Klomberg said during sentencing. “Intoxicated or not, the defendant is completely responsible 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 getting 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.”
Law enforcement in the county were notified about the threat and found Cowen made the phone call on the same afternoon, according to the complaint. The phone call was reviewed and compared against another phone call placed to the Beaver Dam Police Department on the same day at 12:07 p.m. The caller asked for the Police Department and was told that the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office answered the phone for the department. The caller hung up. The phone call came from a number linked to Cowen.
Officers were placed and maintained surveillance at Cowen’s home, and a detective for the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office called Cowen’s number and left a voicemail.
Cowen called police back hours later but denied having any involvement with the calls.
According to the criminal complaint, Cowen denied having a gun. He said he had strong feelings against Beaver Dam Police administrators that had arrested him. He said he hated cops in general.
A female crisis negotiator, who was not a police officer, was brought in to speak with Cowen. During the call, Cowen spent his time asking the negotiator inappropriate questions. He also made sexual comments about a Beaver Dam Police officer, the complaint said.
Cowen was told not to call the police unless there was an emergency. On the early morning hours of June 29, he called dispatch seven times.
Dodge County Human Services were called in on June 29 and a crisis worker attempted to reach out to Cowen on June 30, but was unable to do so. Cowen allegedly made 69 lewd phone calls to dispatch between 6:44 p.m. June 29 and 3:22 a.m. June 30.
Cowen was taken into custody on June 30 and tried to inappropriately touch the officer arresting him. According to the criminal complaint, he also harassed nurses at Marshfield Medical Center – Beaver Dam after he was taken there for medical clearance.
Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.