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Evidence at final ch. 51 commitment hearing established dangerousness

Sheboygan County HSD v. P.W.S., 2022AP426, District 2, 9/28/22 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity

In this fact-intensive decision (¶¶2-17), the court of appeals rejects P.W.S.’s challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence that there was a substantial probability he was dangerous under § 51.20(1)(a)2.c.

¶22     The court found that P.W.S. was unquestionably delusional, and that finding is supported by the evidence. Relatedly, whether it was setting up more dangerous “booby traps”—like the one “with sharp nails sticking up”—that could victimize an unsuspecting mail carrier or Amazon delivery person, brandishing a BB gun that looks to responding police and others like a real gun, shooting someone with a real gun—like the loaded .22-caliber handgun he carried at the time of the “burglary” call he made in August 2021, falling again while trying to apprehend imaginary intruders or “lookouts”—like the two imaginary girls he chased after that resulted in a fall, or confronting, perhaps while armed, the neighbor he believes is stealing from him, the totality of the evidence, see [Marathon County v.] D.K., [2020 WI 8,] 390 Wis. 2d 50, ¶51[, 937 N.W.2d 901] (we consider dangerousness evidence from commitment hearings “as a whole”), indicates P.W.S.’s judgment was so impaired that there was “a substantial probability of physical … injury to himself … or other individuals.” See Wis. Stat. § 51.20(1)(a)2.c.

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