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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Rochester police are reporting the arrest of a Mazeppa man accused of creating a very tense situation through a 911 call that he claimed was "a joke."

Police Captain Casey Moilanen says officers responded to a 911 call Wednesday morning from a man claiming that he had shot someone in the face. The caller indicated the shooting occurred inside the Rogan’s Shoe Store in northwest Rochester and said he would be waiting in a car parked outside the store.


While officers were rushing to the scene, Moilanen says the staff at the store was contacted by phone and they indicated there had not been a shooting. Police then instructed the store's staff and a handful of customers to shelter in place and they waited for police to arrive in an office area at the back of the store.

When officers arrived, they found a car matching the description given by the caller in the parking lot but no one was inside the vehicle. The officers, with their guns drawn, then encountered three people in the business, who were detained while the officers worked to determine what was happening.

Kim David/TSM

Captain Moilanen says the store's staff members identified one of the three men as a person who had been acting strangely. Moilanen says he initially denied making any calls, but later admitted he was responsible after officers called the number from the 911 call and the man's phone rang.

He was identified as 39-year-old James Nelson of Mazeppa. He is being held in the Olmsted County jail on a felony count of Threats of Violence and a gross misdemeanor charge of making a 911 call knowing no emergency exits.

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