Man with guns demanding to speak to Gov. Evers at Capitol charged with misdemeanor

Posted at 9:45 AM, Oct 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-17 10:45:03-04

MADISON — A man who illegally brought a loaded handgun into the Wisconsin Capitol, demanding to see Gov. Tony Evers, and returned at night with an assault rifle after posting bail, has since been charged with a single misdemeanor.

According to our partners at WISC, online court records show that 43-year-old Joshua Pleasnick has been charged with carrying a firearm in a public building. He is set to make an initial court appearance Thursday morning. Online records do not list an attorney.

Pleasnick, who goes by "Taco," was arrested on Oct. 4. He was shirtless and holstering a handgun when he approached the governor's office on the first floor of the Capitol. He allegedly said “he would not leave until he saw Governor Evers” so he could talk about “domestic abuse towards men,” Capitol police said in a bulletin sent to lawmakers and their staffs.

Evers was not in the building at the time.


Pleasnick was taken into custody for openly carrying a firearm in the Capitol, which is against the law. Weapons can be brought into the Capitol if they are concealed and the person has a valid permit. Pleasnick did not have a concealed carry permit.
Pleasnick was booked into the Dane County Jail but later posted bail.

He returned to the outside of the Capitol shortly before 9 p.m., three hours after the building closed, with a loaded assault-style rifle and a collapsible police baton in his backpack. He again demanded to see the governor and was taken into custody.

The public has free access to the Capitol daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There are no metal detectors. Capitol Police say they never make public if or when security levels change, and this time will be no different.