Milwaukee officials investigate possible hazmat scene near Kern Park

Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-02 00:06:43-04

MILWAUKEE — A 911 call about a potential meth lab in a van led to a major scene in Milwaukee’s Riverwest neighborhood Sunday afternoon.

Daniel Schuyler had seen the vehicle for the first time a few days ago on Dousman Street.

“A guy he was actually playing a didgeridoo, really strange, like he was on top of the van playing it,” Schuyler said.

On Sunday it was back, and what was going on inside the vehicle, caused some to question.

“It looked like something was being cooked in a big stainless steel pot by like a blowtorch,” Schuyler said.

The activity so suspicious that the Milwaukee Fire Department got a 911 call at 2:14 p.m. to respond to a meth lab in a black van.

Police and fire crews quickly arrived on scene blocking off Keefe and Dousman, and even a port-a-potty in Kern Park because witnesses saw the man from the vehicle going in and out of it.

This all happened as a birthday party was just getting underway for Ruth Babbs’ nephew. Police forced them to move it to the other side of the park.

“We had to you know pack up everything and relocate everything,” Babbs said. “Whoever the guy is. He’s seen there was a party going on. You know it’s plenty kids out here and decorations so it’s like have some consideration.”

Peter Martinez and his family were also holding a party in the park and shared their spot with the kids.

“Some of us were quite disconcerted during the events,” Martinez said.

The parties went on with the kids unaware and having a fun time, as men in hazmat suits searched the port-a-potty in the park and the black van on Dousman.

Federal drug enforcement workers also assisted at the scene.

At this time, police are remaining tight-lipped about what happened, but TODAY’S TMJ4 watched as officers put a man in handcuffs and took him into custody.

“A little uneasy feeling about it and hopefully the police will take care of it,” Schuyler said.

Fire crews said they didn’t find any hazardous materials in either the port-a-potty or the van.

Police are still investigating. TODAY’S TMJ4 reached out to Milwaukee Police to learn what they discovered, but have not heard back at this time.