Police use less-lethal device to detain wanted man, evacuate home filled with natural gas during tactical situation

BELOIT, Wis. – Beloit police had to evacuate a home where a reportedly wanted federal fugitive was inside after the building was found to be filled with natural gas, an official said Thursday.

Beloit Police Chief David Zibolski said during a news conference that the department received a tip that 28-year-old Fabian Jones, of Beloit, was at a home in the 900 block of Gerald Avenue.

Zibolski said Jones is known to be armed and dangerous and was wanted on a warrant in Beloit from March. Since the warrant in March, Beloit officers and the U.S. Marshals Service have sought Jones.

Police responded before noon to the home on Gerald Avenue and found out Jones was inside, but he refused to come out.

Police said at 12:45 p.m. that officers blocked off Park Avenue from Bellevue Place to Alice Avenue. People are asked to avoid the area.

A tactical team also responded and police set up a perimeter around the home and notified neighbors.

Zibolski said Jones finally came out the front door after saying he would several times, but then not exiting. When he did come out, he was holding a bottle of liquor and another object in his hands and refused to comply with officers who were telling him to drop the items and get on the ground.

Police struck Jones with a less-lethal bean bag round and were able to take him into custody.

Zibolski said the less-lethal bean bag round sounds like gunfire, and a group that had gathered nearby the scene became “uncontrollable” and “unruly” after hearing the bean bag round discharged. Police had to call in additional help from neighboring agencies to control the crowd and help manage traffic.

Zibolski said that while officers were searching the home with a warrant, they discovered that someone had turned on the natural gas, and the house was filled with gas.

“(That’s) obviously a very dangerous situation not only for the people inside, but for our law enforcement personnel who would be entering to search this residence,” Zibolski said.

Police backed off the search until the Beloit Fire Department and Wisconsin Natural Gas confirms the home is safe. Once officers get the home cleared, they will continue the search.

No bullets were fired during the incident, police said.

In addition to Jones, there were four other people in the home during the incident. None of the four were were injured, police said. They’re being detained by police pending results of the search warrant, Zibolski said.