BLOOMER, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office says a man is in custody following an incident on Highway 53 this morning.

Chippewa County Sheriff Travis Hakes said in a news release that it started after they were informed of a security threat to the courthouse that was directed at a specific case that was to take place on Tuesday.

“The courthouse was not evacuated, but there are different security levels that we’re able to use to do with the courthouse. It’s fairly empty over there,” Hakes said. “We increased the security level at that courthouse today and then we were able to intercept the vehicle on this road to travel to the courthouse where we made a traffic stop.”

The media release states, “Based on the cooperation of several departments within Chippewa County a decision was made to increase Courthouse security level for business hours. During the morning hours of Tuesday May 2nd 2023 the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office and several assisting agencies monitored the area of suspected travel. Due to the strong cooperation and professional working relationship of Law Enforcement in NW Wisconsin as well as Minnesota; the vehicle was identified. Based on the route of travel, and identification of the vehicle Law Enforcement coordinated a traffic stop.”

“We first located the vehicle in the Barron County, so Barron County assisted us and then based on the traffic flow, based on the safety and visibility, there was a reason to stop him where we did when we did,” Hakes said.

The media release goes on to say, “the suspect was stopped on Highway 53 between Exit 110 and Exit 102. The driver refused to exit the vehicle. Due to this Highway 53 was closed in this area in the best interest of Public Safety. Negotiations were initiated by Crisis Negotiator from the City of Chippewa Falls Police Department. Area Law Enforcement and the Regional SWAT team assisted in securing the scene. The suspect was taken into custody after non-lethal use of force techniques were utilized.”

The media release identifies 39-year-old Harley Alcala as the suspect.

According to the media release, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office, Chippewa Falls Police Department, Bloomer Police Department, Barron County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Rice Lake Police Department, Washburn County Sheriff’s Office, Eau Claire County Sheriff’s Office, City of Eau Claire Police Department, the Regional SWAT team, Chippewa County Highway Department, Tilden Fire Department, and Bloomer Area Fire Department all assisted with the incident.

Hakes said Alcala is currently in the Chippewa County Jail and said more information about the threat will be released in the future.