Elderly man who pointed a gun and punched an WhiteFish Bay officer, is arrested by officers

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The Whitefish Bay Police Department has released video from a Sunday, Feb. 18 arrest during which a man allegedly pointed a gun at and punched an officer.

Thomas Hartman, 72, is charged with two felonies and four misdemeanors. Prosecutors said he also pulled the officer to the ground prior to his arrest. The entire exchange lasted about 15 minutes.

According to a criminal complaint, Whitefish Bay police were called to a home on Bay Ridge Avenue for a 911 open line. Dispatch indicated to officers that it sounded like an argument between a man and woman; the man was heard saying he was going to kill someone, and the woman said, "put the gun down."

When officers arrived at the scene, the complaint states a man – later identified as Hartman – came out of the home with a gun in his hand. An officer told Hartman to drop the gun several times, but he would only answer by yelling, "(expletive) you."

Again, prosecutors said Hartman was ordered multiple times to drop the gun, which he ignored. The complaint states Hartman sat on a bench on the front porch, still holding the gun. He then pointed the gun at the officer and said, "pew pew."

Hartman went back inside the home, and the complaint states the woman came out and walked toward officers. When Hartman came back outside, he grabbed an officer by her ponytail and "attempted to put her in a headlock," according to court filings – punching her in the head in the process. He then pulled the officer to the ground by the ponytail.

It was not until the officer was harmed that Hartman was taken into custody, according to the complaint. Bodycam video showed officers take Hartman to the ground and put him in handcuffs.

In an interview with police, the complaint states Hartman admitted to drinking alcohol daily and said he drank two martinis before dinner that night, but did not believe he was under the influence. A preliminary breath test returned a measurement of .114.

The gun was recovered inside the home. Prosecutors said it was fully loaded with 15 bullets in the magazine but none in the chamber.

Hartman made his initial appearance in Milwaukee County court on Wednesday, Feb. 21. Cash bond was set at $10,000.

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