Stoughton Police arrest teens in connection with hospital threats - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Teens arrested for hospital bomb threats; evacuation called success

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STOUGHTON (WKOW) --- Authorities said two teenagers were arrested for allegedly making more than a dozen bomb threats against Stoughton hospital and forcing an evacuation of the hospital's patients.

Stoughton police sergeant Brian Gowan said investigators focused on the Town of Dunn teenage boys after receiving a tip sometime after the hospital's eighteen patients were evacuated Sunday.   Authorities said most of the patients spent three hours at the Skaalen nursing home nearby as part of disaster plan cooperation between the two facilities.

Gowan said the more than twenty calls the teens allegedly placed between Saturday night and Sunday were part of a prank.

"They said they just got carried away,"   Gowan told WKOW27 News.

"Sick people up there, and the last thing they want to do is be out in the elements,"   Gowan said.

"It was scary for them."

Skaalen Home administrator Kathy Horton confirmed the evacuees needed reassurance.

"They were confused as to what was going on.   It was explained a little better (to them), they had to be evacuated."

Gowan said the teenage suspects claimed to not know the seriousness of their alleged actions until watching television news reports on the hospital's evacuation.

Gowan said the teens were new to the area, but had some familiarity with the hospital.   Gowan said police contacted the teens just as one of their parents was calling authorities to report their alleged involvement.

Gowan said the teens were being held on felony bomb scare charges.   It is uncertain whether their cases will remain in the juvenile court system, or whether prosecutors will ask a court to consider the teenage boys adults in connection with the alleged crimes.

Stoughton hospital officials said the bomb threat calls became increasingly specific Sunday, prompting the patient evacuation.

"They were much more specific,"  said hospital board president Dr. David James.   "And they were coming almost every minute."

Horton said the transfer of patients from  the hospital to her facility represented the first activation of a 2009 disaster recovery plan involving five area health care facilities.   Horton said Stoughton's damaging, August 2005 tornado had been evidence of the need for cooperative evacuation planning.

Horton said recent reorganization of nursing home patient rooms left a wing of rooms vacant and helped to accomodate the evacuated patients, some of whom had recent surgeries.

Offiicals with both the hospital and nursing home said the evacuation did not lead to medical complications for the evacuated patients.

Horton told WKOW27 News the disaster planning was crucial in accepting the patients and providing them care with little notice.  

"I arrived at the facility twenty minutes after being contacted (Sunday) about the planned evacuation, and hospital patients were already coming in."

"We had a couple of stretchers come in, so some people were bedridden."

Horton said doctors, nurses and others from Stoughton Hospital, some responding to on-call notifications, arrived at the nursing home and helped her staff care for the evacuees.

Authorities said no explosives were found during extensive searches of the hospital both Saturday and Sunday.

Online reporting by Tony Galli


STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- A Stoughton nursing home says taking in evacuated hospital guests this weekend was a success thanks to a new plan.

Just last year they had a plan put in place to cover any incidents that would lead them to take in numerous patients at once.

They had the bed space and equipment prepared.

Tony Galli will have more on their plan as well as the motive of the two teens arrested and what consequences they could now face. That's tonight on 27 News at 5 & 6.



STOUGHTON (WKOW) -- Stoughton Police have arrested two juveniles in connection with a series of bomb threats that forced the evacuation of Stoughton Hospital over the weekend.

The Police Department, in conjunction with the Dane County Sheriff's Department, arrested the juveniles Sunday.

They are currently in custody and have been referred for several charges of Bomb Scares.

The investigation is considered ongoing.

Tony Galli is checking into the ongoing investigation and will have more details on the bomb threats and the hospital's response tonight on 27 News at 5, 6 & 6:30.


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