Police: Device recovered in Rome was not a functional bomb

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ROME, Wis. (WSAW) -- The device recovered from the 500 block of County Z in Rome was not a functioning explosive device, according to Sgt. Adam Anderson with the Rome Police Department.

“At about 4:20 p.m. on July 9, we were notified that Chad Wawrzyniak was making threats toward a Wisconsin Rapids resident,” Anderson explained.

Rome police, the Adam’s County Sheriff’s Office and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad responded to the bomb threat on Tuesday, after the CIA passed on an email containing the threat. The message received by the CIA stated that a bomb had been built and would be used to kill a resident in Wisconsin Rapids.

Officials were able to trace the IP address from the email to the property in Rome, where they took 33-year-old Chad Wawrzyniak into custody who was arriving at the scene by vehicle and told police the device was in a shed on the property. The bomb squad also recovered the device.
“It would not have exploded, and the public was never in any danger from the device itself,” Anderson said.

This isn’t the first time that Wawrzyniak, who is facing multiple drug-related charges as well, has made threats of violence towards others. A criminal complaint filed last December and obtained by NewsChannel 7 alleges that he sent messages threatening to kill somebody, whose identity we are not disclosing to protect the victim. The complaint says the message was sent on Facebook, and reads “I’m going to kill [the victim] today. He has taken my life, now I will take his.”

The victim sent screenshots of the post to the Rome Police Department, and explained he had not spoken to Wawrzyniak in years and had no idea why Chad would want to kill him, the complaint says. The victim said he was scared for both himself and his family if his location were to be disclosed to Wawrzyniak.

Wawrzyniak faces charges of threatening injury or harm through computer messages from that incident.

Sgt. Anderson says there’s an important message to take away from Tuesday’s incident.

“Some people don’t take others seriously when they make threats like this,” he noted. “Always take it seriously, and report it if it happens.”
Andersen says all agencies involved responded quickly, and the incident was handled smoothly by all involved.

“There’s many people with their eyes on this situation. The public is safe,” he emphasized.

The investigation into the incident is currently ongoing, which involves the Rome Police Department, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Editor's note: A previous version of this article listed July 10, or Wednesday, as the date of the incident. The Rome Police Department sent an updated press release, correcting the date on their original press release to July 9, or Tuesday.