OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Oshkosh Police say a business owner was taken into custody Monday after repeatedly violating Governor Tony Evers’ Safer At Home order.
Authorities say they received a call from the Winnebago County Health Department on Friday, April 24, advising that the Dog Depot in the 1200 block of South Main Street was open and in violation of the Safer At Home order.
A sergeant from the Oshkosh Police Department went to the Dog Depot and spoke with the owner, advising her that the County Health Department determined the business is not essential and that it needed to close immediately. Police say she was warned several times and told why she needed to close.
The owner reportedly said she disagrees with the Winnebago County Health Department, that she would not comply with the Safer At Home order, and that she would not close her store.
Oshkosh Police say they consulted with the Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office and they agreed the business owner was violating the Safer At Home order.
“Due to her disregard and the multiple warnings she received, the sergeant advised the business owner that he was going to refer her to the District Attorney’s Office for the charge of violating the Governor’s Orders and that each day that her business continued to stay open would result in another charge,” Oshkosh Police said in a release.
On Monday, Oshkosh Police officers made contact with the business owner who again had her business open.
Police say the woman again refused to comply with the Safer At Home order. Oshkosh Police say they continued to consult with the District Attorney’s Office and she was then taken into custody for once again violating the Governor’s Orders.
“The Oshkosh Police Department understands that this is a new, challenging, and difficult situation that we are all dealing with during this pandemic,” Oshkosh Police said in the release. “We wish that we weren’t all going through these challenging times.”
Authorities say the Winnebago County Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services are tasked with determining which businesses are essential or non-essential. Law enforcement is then advised on which businesses are in violation.
Oshkosh Police say they’ve responded to 122 different calls for service since March 17 at numerous locations in the city ranging from playgrounds, residences, and businesses that have dealt with violations of the Safer At Home order. Police say all were warned and no arrests had to be made for any visitors or residences in the city.
“Our goal is always voluntary compliance. Filing charges is always our last resort,” Oshkosh Police said.