By Tracy Ouellette
In what started out as a response to a reported fight and subsequent welfare check, Village of Caledonia police discovered a handmade explosive device, prompting a call to the bomb squad Oct. 28.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to a report of a fight between two males near the 6000 block of Highway 31 at about 7 a.m. When officers arrived, they found a 19-year-old man and a 22-year-old fighting.
After discovering the fight began in a nearby house and the 22-year-old man may have struck his pregnant girlfriend, police went to the property out of concern for the woman.
When police arrived at the house they were met at the door by Austin W. Povkovich, 21, who told them he was a renter at the property and agreed to speak to the officers about the possible domestic abuse. Povkovich gave police permission to enter the home.
The officers spoke to the girlfriend who told them she and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument and when she said she was going to pack her things and leave, her boyfriend held a knife to his neck and threatened to slit his throat.
She told police she began screaming for him to put the knife down and that’s when the other roommates in the house kicked in the locked bedroom door and that was how the fight began.
The complaint states that when officers were speaking to Povkovich about the incident an underage female came out of a room. Officers asked Povkovich who else was in the house. Povkovich said he was unsure. This prompted police to do a “protective sweep of the home for officer safety.”
Police report that before beginning the search, Povkovich pulled a loaded gun magazine from his jacket pocket and told them to search him. Povkovich told police he had a concealed carry weapons license and that he had a firearm on him when the police arrived, but threw it on the bed before coming to the door.
During the protective sweep, officers discovered an 18-year-old woman hiding under a blanket and a person passed out on the couch. They noted the home was “extremely dirty” with numerous empty beer cans, cups and liquor bottles laying around along with drug paraphernalia in plain view.
The complaint states it was obvious to police a drinking party was held the previous night that had been attended by underage people.
During the search, police observed cased and uncased firearms in many of the rooms. They also discovered two drug grow operations, one of them in Povkovich’s bedroom closet.
While searching Povkovich’s bedroom, police found what appeared to be an improvised explosive device. Police called the bomb squad and the device was detonated safely. Flames from the detonation reportedly reached 12 feet high.
Povkovich is facing up to six years in jail and/or a $10,000 fine if convicted.