HARTLAND, Wis. - A text alert from Hartland police helped a homeowner spot a wanted man in an unlikely place. It is rare that the Hartland Police Department sends out emergency alerts to the public. But last week, they sent two in just three days.
"Both situations, we were talking about public safety issues," said Hartland Police Chief Torin Misko.
Misko said text messages were sent to cellphone users within a mile radius of each incident.
On Thursday, Jan. 18, FOX6 News told you about a man firing a gun in a parking lot. It led to a chase, lockdowns at Sussex schools, and a Hartland police alert.
Hamilton schools temporarily on lockdown
What you may not know is, days earlier police pushed out another "extreme alert."
"That incident did involve an assault that took place – and a stolen vehicle," Misko said.
Prosecutors say 36-year-old Paul Digangi Jr. violently hit a woman multiple times. Investigators say the victim told police she believed Digangi "would have killed her." Prosecutors say Digangi stole the woman's minivan and took off.
Paul Digangi Jr.
"The alert went out and shortly after," Chief Misko said.
Police warned the public just after 8:30 a.m., sharing Digangi's description. About an hour later, officers got a call from a man living on Oxford Drive.
"That alert ultimately lead to a resident locating the individual in his garage," Misko said.
Police say the man went into his garage, noticed some items out of place, and was startled by Digangi. Investigators say Digangi asked the man to not call police. Investigators say he took off into a nearby park – where officers ultimately place him under arrest.
"We’re very cognizant and careful when we send out those alerts. We don’t want people to ignore them. At the same time, we want to make sure people are informed as to what’s going on," Misko said.
Hartland Police Chief Torin Misko
Misko calls the use of push alerts a success in both cases.
Chief Misko said the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office has not yet charged the man involved in Thursday's incident – which is why FOX6 News is not naming him.
Digangi is being held on $25,000 cash bond.