Thursday 14 November 2019

Stepfather urges White House threats suspect to surrender as manhunt continues

Joseph Jakubowski, who is being sought on suspicion of sending an anti-government manifesto to US President Donald Trump (Rock County Sheriff's Office via AP)
Joseph Jakubowski, who is being sought on suspicion of sending an anti-government manifesto to US President Donald Trump (Rock County Sheriff's Office via AP)

The estranged stepfather of a Wisconsin man suspected of stealing guns and threatening attacks in an anti-government manifesto sent to the White House has urged the fugitive to surrender.

Don McLean said his stepson, Joseph Jakubowski, has never had a good relationship with police and that he and his wife are concerned for his safety.

"We just want him to give up. There's no good ending to this except him giving up," said Mr McLean, 54.

More than 150 state and federal law enforcement officers have been searching for 32-year-old Jakubowski since April 4, when they believe he took 18 firearms from a gun store in Janesville in south-western Wisconsin. Law enforcement found Jakubowski's burnt vehicle nearby and have investigated more than 400 leads in his pursuit.

An image of Jakubowski taken from a surveillance video at a gas station the day he disappeared adorns billboards on Wisconsin's interstates and on the road into Janesville, a rural city of about 64,000 about 70 miles south-west of Milwaukee.

Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden has said Jakubowski threatened to attack schools and public officials in the 161-page manifesto that he mailed to President Donald Trump. Jakubowski spoke of a "revolution" in a video that shows him dropping a package addressed to Mr Trump in a mailbox.

The White House has not commented on Jakubowski's manifesto.

Mr McLean said his stepson has a history of clashing with police and he's worried about what will happen if there's a confrontation.

"What I know is every time he has a confrontation with the police, it almost always goes violent. He's always been anti-police," Mr McLean said.

Janesville Police Chief David Moore said Jakubowski has had several run-ins with law enforcement, mostly for traffic violations, and that he once tried to disarm an officer in 2008.

Authorities are urging the public to call with information on his whereabouts but are warning people not to approach him. The FBI is offering a 10,000 dollar (£8,000) reward for information leading to his capture.

The sheriff's office has said Jakubowski also has a bulletproof vest and a helmet.

Mr McLean said he has not talked to his stepson since he kicked him out of their house two years ago because of "differences of opinion". He said Jakubowski once worked as a roofer, but he did not know where he was living or whether he had been recently employed.

He said he became Jakubowski's stepfather when he was around a year old.

Mr McLean said he knows Jakubowski is mad at him, but he wanted him to know his parents do not want to see him get hurt or for him to hurt anyone else.

"His mother wants him, would rather have him alive. I want him alive," he said. "Whatever he's doing, I can't see it ending well unless he surrenders."


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