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Sunday - May 27, 2018 6:53 am

Police identify suspect related to Sparta graduation threat Featured

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Police have named a suspect in the threats that shut down the Sparta High School graduation on Friday. 

Sparta police say 42 year-old Benjamin Sidie is wanted for questioning in relation to the threats on Friday. 

Sidie's last known address is in Osceola, Iowa and they believe he works in the Des Moines area. 

 Sidie is described as 5'10" and weighing 290 lbs.  Police say he should be considered armed and dangerous and warn not to approach him.

Sidie is currently wanted on warrant from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

The Sparta school district canceled Friday's graduation ceremony due to to the threats which were made by text messages.

Police say Sidie threatened to kill estranged family members who would be attending the graduation and get himself into a "suicide by cop" situation.

The move to cancel the ceremony was made after "careful consideration by the superintendent and the Sparta Police Department," according to a statement released by police.

In that statment police also included this apparent nod to the controversial call to cancel the ceremony:

"This whole situation is frustrating, concerning, and especially disappointing for the graduates and their families. Whether you agree or disagree with the decision to postpone the ceremony, take a moment and consider if the suspect had followed through with his threats and we knew ahead of time it was going to happen at the graduation ceremony."

Last modified on Sunday - May 27, 2018 7:15 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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