JANESVILLE, Wis. (AP) — A man accused of stealing an arsenal of firearms from a southern Wisconsin gun shop and sending an anti-government manifesto to President Donald Trump said Friday that he had no plans to harm the public while he was on the run for 10 days.
Joseph Jakubowski called WTMJ-TV (http://bit.ly/2qb3Xqk ) from jail on Friday, telling the station he'd intended to go to North Dakota "to get off the grid, to go into the wild, to disappear." He blamed the media for stoking public fear and said he wanted to be free "of society, the system, government, all of it. It's all I wanted to do."
Investigators allege Jakubowski broke into a gun shop near Janesville and stole 18 guns, two silencers and ammunition, and mailed the manifesto to the White House on April 4. His burned vehicle was a few miles from the shop found nearby. Authorities allege he also sent the rambling, threatening manifesto to about two dozen other people before going on the run.
Jakubowski was arrested in rural Vernon County in western Wisconsin on April 14, after a retired school counselor found him camping on his property and calmly talked to him before calling authorities. The area is about 125 miles (201 kilometers) northwest of Janesville.
The arrest ended fears over when and where he could possibly stage an attack. Authorities said they've found five of the stolen weapons, but an automatic weapon and 12 additional handguns might never be found. Authorities believe Jakubowski drafted an apology letter to the gun store's owner.
Jakubowski told WTMJ the manifesto was proof he had no violent intent. He said if the media didn't exist to tell people about what his assumed thoughts were, people would not have been scared.
"If anyone would have read my whole letter, you'd clearly understand I wasn't hiding anything of what I did. Nothing. Zero. Zip. Nada. I ain't trying to hide nothing now, because if anybody seen the title of my letter, it said 'honor, dignity, truth,' that's what I stand for, that's what I'm fighting for that's exactly with the government, this system is destroying," Jakubowski said.
He said he burned his car as a way to stop the system from taking advantage of him.
"I already know if I had just ditched the truck, they would have towed it and put it at auction, and that's money for the system. I ain't giving nothing to the system, so I burned it," he said.
During the manhunt, authorities said Jakubowski may have had an accomplice. But he told WTMJ he was on his own.
Jakubowski has pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges related to the burglary. He is being held at the Rock County Jail in a high-security area away from other inmates. His next court date is June 22.