Good news, everybody: It turns out Joseph Jakubowski wasn't really all that dangerous. Keeping schoolchildren inside for recess for weeks on end, canceling the Easter Egg hunt at the Governor's Mansion, calling in 125 law enforcement officers to make the arrest? Total overkill.
Jakubowski was no more dangerous than a cut-rate pot dealer. At least, that's what Rock County Court Commissioner Larry Barton apparently believes since he set Jakubowski's bail at just $30,000--$10,000 for each of the felonies with which Jakubowski is charged.
Never mind the fact that Jakubowski had singlehandedly paralyzed an entire state with fear during his week on the run. Never mind the fact that Jakubowski had stolen enough guns to arm a small militia. Never mind that Jakubowski had sent a rambling, barely coherent but alarmingly threatening manifesto to President Trump. Never mind the fact that Jakubowski had promised to attack government facilities or officials or schools.
Barton believes he should be a free man if he can raise $30,000.
Jakubowski himself is unlikely to have that much cash handy, but since it is such a relatively small amount, it is well within the realm of possibility that even a family member, friend, or random supporter of even modest means could scrape together the money to free him.
Then what? What exactly would happen if Jakubowski is somehow able to post bail? Would Wisconsin suddenly feel comfortable with him back on the streets? Would it just shrug its shoulders and say "Oh well, he posted bail, what can you do?"
Or would an entire state once again be paralyzed by a very justified fear of a very unhinged man?
Consider this: Jakubowski stole 18 guns from Armageddon Supplies in Janesville. He was arrested with just five of them. Where are the other 13? And, more importantly, who wants to risk Jakubowski posting bail and finding them before law enforcement does?
This possibility didn't seem to occur to Barton, nor did Jakubowski's clearly unhinged behavior during his initial appearance in front of Barton apparently give Barton any pause.
When Barton asked Jakubowski (who appeared via teleconference from jail) if he understood the charges against him, Jakubowski attempted to launch into a diatribe about the unfairness of one of them.
When Barton warned Jakubowski about discussing the details of his case in open court, Jakubowski answered bizarrely, saying "I'm not your slave, man. You can’t tell me what to do as a free individual."
Jakubowski, of course, is not a free individual at the moment, but this defiance of Barton right to his face did nothing to convince Barton that maybe Jakubowski shouldn't have the potential to be a free individual in the near future.
Let's see: Open defiance of laws and law enforcement? A proven flight risk? A penchant for erratic behavior and violent threats? A potential hidden cache of 13 stolen guns?
Seems like the sort of guy who should be let out of custody with just $30,000...to say nothing of the untold hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless man-hours spent bringing him to justice in the first place.
Now, though, those hundreds of law enforcement officers who worked tirelessly, those tens of thousands of Wisconsinites who worried sleeplessly during Jakubowski's time on the run are irrelevant.
All that matters is the opinion of one court commissioner, and that court commissioner apparently believes that none of us have anything to worry about if Joseph Jakubowski is released.
Besides, what's the worst he could do if he's back on the streets, right?