RHINELANDER - One of the people involved in last week's reported hostage situation in Rhinelander won't be charged with any crimes.
Story By Ben Meyer
Twenty-year-old Alyah Wayman told police 33-year-old Scott LaPlante assaulted her and held her at gunpoint in a hotel room last Tuesday. That information led the sheriff's office to send its Special Response Team to the hotel, where they arrested LaPlante.
But the next day, police said Wayman made the story up.
The sheriff's office still recommended charges against LaPlante for not cooperating with the Special Response Team. On Monday, however, Oneida Co. District Attorney Michael Schiek said he wouldn't press charges.
Police have also recommended charges against Wayman, but none have been formally filed yet.
ORIGINAL STORY 2/13/19
When 20-year-old Alyah Wayman escaped from her hotel room in Rhinelander on Tuesday night, police thought they were dealing with a hostage victim who had been held at gunpoint.
Less than 24 hours later, they sent her to jail.
Wayman, they now say, fabricated an entire story, one that eventually sent the Oneida Co. Special Response Team into action with body armor, helmets, and AR-15s.
"We believed we had a serious situation going on," said Rhinelander Police Capt. Ron Lueneburg on Wednesday. "We believed we in fact had a hostage situation and we wanted to treat it as such."
Police took the call about a hostage situation at the Rodeway Inn hotel on Rhinelander's west side at about 5:30 p.m. Wayman told police she was held at gunpoint by 33-year-old Scott LaPlante.
That was a lie, according to police.
"There was no gun located," Lueneburg said. "We don't feel there was ever a gun in play in this incident."
Then, Wayman got out of the room.
"She had hit the male individual in the head with a bottle, according to her, and that apparently temporarily incapacitated him," said Lueneburg.
That was also made up, police said Wednesday. Lueneburg also said there's no evidence Wayman was assaulted, as she claimed.
But at the time, police called the Oneida Co. Sheriff's Special Response Team, believing LaPlante was still armed in the room.
"[He] just wasn't responding to law enforcement's commands or our attempts to make contact with him," said Oneida Co. Sheriff's Capt. Tyler Young, who was on scene.
Police evacuated the hotel's first floor, and a manager told Newswatch 12 employees were told to stay in a laundry room.
Around 9 p.m., deputies went into the guest room, Tasered LaPlante, shot him with pepper balls, and arrested him.
"The team entered the room after making some observations through some of the technologies we have and were able to make a safe entry in the room and a safe conclusion of incident," Young said.
Lueneburg said both Wayman and LaPlante had been drinking, but didn't know why Wayman made up the hostage story. He said the two knew each other, but wasn't sure of the nature of their relationship.
The Sheriff's Office is recommending misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer, and bail jumping against LaPlante.
Rhinelander Police want to see disorderly conduct, obstructing an officer, and underage drinking charges against Wayman, who they say started everything from nothing.
"This whole incident was basically fabricated that didn't really exist," Lueneburg said. "The investigation has shown there's no information to support that a hostage situation actually even occurred."
Equipment and manpower for the Special Response Team cost thousands of dollars, all for a situation fabricated by a suspect.
Lueneburg said it's frustrating to send out an armored vehicle, heavy weapons, and lots of officers for a false alarm. But, he said, it's necessary if someone might be in danger.
"We can't afford to sit by and think that it's probably not real," Lueneburg said. "I think we have to respond to every situation as if it is real unless we have factual information to indicate otherwise."
Both suspects will likely be in court on Monday.