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Neighbors say Brozek seemed angry and reserved

Published On: May 19 2013 02:08:01 AM CDT
Updated On: May 19 2013 10:02:52 AM CDT

Dane Co. Sheriff Dept.

Brent Brozek in a booking photo from the Dane County Sheriff's Department dated 2011.


People living around Brent Brozek's old condo said he never seemed particularly interested in meeting the neighbors.

Brozek was shot and killed by police Friday after a daylong standoff on Madison’s east side.

Police said Brozek left his house on Rockefeller Lane with his dog and he charged at officers with a large sword. Officers fired bean bag rounds at Brozek, but when he charged a second time with the weapon, multiple officers shot rounds. Brozek later died at the hospital.

Three officers were put on administrative leave as the Madison Police Department completes its internal investigation of the incident.

Madison Police were originally on scene to help Dane County deputies execute an eviction.

Justin and Kathie Coenen can see Brozek's driveway from their second floor balcony.

"He had informed the neighbors over there that he was not leaving," Justin said.

"Unsettling, and sad really for this guy, because obviously he was disturbed," Kathie said.

For most of Saturday, Brozek’s truck was blocked off by squad cars. The couple often saw Brozek working on the truck when they took their daily walks past the property.

"We'd always try to engage him and say 'hi,' smile. And he would just glare at us and not say anything," said Kathie.

The Coenens said Brozek was usually dressed in military fatigues and often had a survival knife on him. They added his German Shepherd was almost never on a leash, but always very obedient. However, the work on the car and the dog sometimes caused disturbances in the neighborhood.

"If here we can hear that and be kind of disturbed by it, not really but, we wouldn't want to be neighbors with the dog barking a lot, with the engine revving on the truck," Kathie said.

According to court records, Brozek was the defendant in multiple civil lawsuits involving his housing, including a foreclosure of mortgage suit in 2012.

Documents show Brozek was also found guilty of a hit and run in 2004.

The Coenens were surprised to hear about Brozek's history of mental illness.

"He seemed reserved and angry rather than mentally ill," Justin said.

Other neighbors said they were warned of the eviction days before it happened.

"The landlord said, 'Be prepared for a spectacle,'" Justin said. "Well, you know, it's a shame that it had to be this ugly of a spectacle."

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