Armored Vehicle Used to Collect Zoning Violation Judgment From 75-Year-Old Man

The term heavy handed hardly does justice to Big Government in the fundamentally transformed former Land of the Free:

When officials in the tiny Town of Stettin in Marathon County [Wisconsin] went to collect a civil judgment from 75-year-old Roger Hoeppner this month, they sent 24 armed officers.

And an armored military vehicle.

Overkill? Not at all, say the authorities.

Marathon County sheriff’s officials aren’t apologizing for their tactics. Sheriff’s Capt. Greg Bean said officials expected to have to seize and remove tractors and wooden pallets to pay the judgment — hence the cadre of deputies. He also said what while Hoeppner was never considered dangerous, he was known to be argumentative.

Here’s how Big Government teaches us not to be argumentative:

Hoeppner said when he noticed deputies outside his house, he called his attorney, Ryan Lister of Wausau. Lister said he quickly left for Hoeppner’s house but was stopped by a roadblock that was kept up until after his client had been taken away in handcuffs. “Rather than provide Mr. Hoeppner or his counsel notice…and attempt to collect without spending thousands of taxpayer dollars on the military-style maneuvers, the town unilaterally decided to enforce its civil judgment” with a show of force, Lister said.

Bean said deputies had to handcuff Hoeppner because he was not following all their instructions, but did eventually agree to pay the $80,000 judgment after a visit to a bank — accompanied by deputies.

Kind of reminds you of the stories of people being accompanied at knifepoint to the nearest ATM to make a big cash withdrawal, doesn’t it?

The massive judgment resulted from Hoeppner’s attempt to run a business in violation of zoning regulations. He says that the town later agreed to $6,000, but that the entire conflict has cost him $200,000, wiping out his retirement fund. Getting stamped on by the boot of Big Government isn’t cheap.

Roger-Hoeppner-wisconsin-marv
Enforcing zoning violations in the former Land of the Free.

On a tip from Steve A. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.

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