Attempted homicide suspect in custody

Police thought he might go to Holmen because he has family there

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne said his office “probably made a mistake” when James Kruger, 36, was released after a court hearing on Sept. 4.

Kruger was sought by numerous law enforcement agencies Tuesday and was taken into custody after stealing two cars, taking a hostage and a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon, according to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.

Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney said the crash scene on Highway 18/151 near Mount Horeb would remain closed until after 3 p.m. because of a potential explosive device found in Kruger’s vehicle. A detour route has been posted.

Kruger was not injured in the crash.

Ozanne told News 8’s sister station WISC-TV Kruger was in court on Sept. 4 on a charge of eluding an officer, and an assistant district attorney only asked for a signature bond because they thought he would be held on a probation hold, but his probation ended in August.

Sheriff Mahoney said there were no holds on Kruger before he was released.

Kruger is a suspect in an incident where a man was stabbed after being asked to leave an east side home Monday morning. Kruger is also wanted on charges from the Platteville Police Department and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.


Holmen Police Chief Mike McHugh tells News 8 Kruger has a relative in Holmen and they feared he was going to go there. Holmen police advised the family and offered protection. The family decided to leave the house.

Holmen police stayed on scene in the area until mid-afternoon. Kruger did not make contact with his family in Holmen.

The Grant County Sheriff’s Department said Kruger went to a residence in the Village of Cassveille and assaulted a male subject and took several guns. After Kruger left the residence, the sheriff’s department got a report that several shots were fired south of Cassville.

Kruger was spotted in Grant County Tuesday morning, took the owner of a truck hostage and drove to Iowa County, according to the sheriff’s department. The hostage was able to get out of the truck in the Dodgeville area. Kruger was later spotted in the Hollendale area, where residents were notified by phone that he was in the area, according to officials.

The pursuit resumed in Ridgeway, according to the sheriff. He said Kruger stole another vehicle from a residence south of Barneveld on County Road K.

Deputies used stop sticks on Highway 18/151 near Mount Horeb, resulting in the crash of the vehicle Kruger was driving. Mahoney said the chase reached 100 mph at times.

Deputies from Dane, Iowa, Grant, Lafayette counties and an aircraft from the Wisconsin State Patrol were involved in the chase. There was no damage to squad cars or injuries to deputies.

Victims were told by Kruger that he had explosive devices. Authorities said they’re investigating the possibility of an explosive device Kruger might have left in Grant County.

The doors were locked at Barneveld and Pecatonica schools as a precaution during the search.

Sheriff Mahoney said he would expect Kruger to face charges from four counties after the pursuit.