Wausau, WI – On September 1, 2020, at 7:16 PM, Marathon County Dispatch received a call of an armed robbery and theft of an Aspirus transport van from Aspirus Wausau Hospital. It was reported to police that an adult male entered an occupied Aspirus transport van, displayed a handgun, and made demands of the driver. The driver, an Aspirus employee, was able to exit the vehicle without being physically harmed. The suspect then stole the van.
At 7:30 PM, Marathon County Dispatch received a second call of a stolen vehicle from a residence in the 1500 block of W Knox Street. It was reported to police that an adult male entered the home, said he had a gun, and took keys to the homeowner’s car. The suspect stole the homeowner’s car. Left in the driveway was an abandoned Aspirus transport van.
At 7:55 PM, a deputy with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office located the stolen vehicle as it was traveling east on Highway 29 from US-51. The vehicle failed to stop and a pursuit ensued, reaching speeds of over 100 miles per hour.
With deputies in pursuit, the suspect left the roadway on E Everest Avenue near Community Center Drive in Weston. A lieutenant with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office followed and pinned the suspect vehicle against a tree, thereby disabling the stolen vehicle.
A standoff ensued for approximately 50 minutes. The suspect remained in the vehicle, was in possession of the firearm, and threatened to commit suicide. The Marathon County lieutenant on scene deescalated the suspect and convinced him to surrender without further incident.
The suspect was identified as Brand B Biller (DOB: 1/12/1990). Biller was arrested and transported to the Marathon County Jail. Biller possessed 3 warrants for his arrest through WI Department of Corrections, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office. The Wausau Police Department and Marathon County Sheriff’s Office will be recommending the following charges to the Marathon County District Attorney’s Office: Armed Robbery; Burglary; Operating a Vehicle without Owner’s Consent; Felon in Possession of a Firearm; and Fleeing an Officer.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are likely.
Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks issued the following statement about the incident:
On September 1, 2020, Wausau Police Department provided a press release on the arrest of Brand Biller. Biller had been involved with the armed robbery and theft of two vehicles, either directly displaying a firearm or indicating he was armed. During the first incident, with force and at gunpoint, Biller took a vehicle from one of our citizens. The second incident showed just how desperate he was. Biller boldly entered a private residence and took a vehicle from the owners of this residence with force placing these citizens in great danger. Thankfully, neither of the persons the vehicles were stolen from were physically harmed. Biller was operating the second stolen vehicle when he was observed by a Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy who started pursuing the vehicle Biller was operating. Law enforcement was aware Biller was armed with at least one firearm and had committed two felony crimes. Speeds during the pursuit reached 100 miles per hour.
During the pursuit, Biller drove his vehicle off the road surface through residential yards and other property. Marathon County Sheriff Lieutenant Steven Denovi, knowing Biller was armed with a firearm and was engaging in reckless and hazardous acts jeopardizing the safety of all in the area, elected to use his patrol vehicle striking the fleeing vehicle Biller was driving with a direct and decisive impact driving the vehicle into a tree disabling the vehicle and ending the pursuit. Biller displayed he had two handguns in a fashion that was a threat to other citizens and law enforcement officers on scene. Although Denovi was injured in the vehicle stop, Denovi maintained his professionalism and negotiated for nearly 50 minutes with Biller causing Biller to surrender peacefully without further incident. Incredible actions that were shared by Wausau Police Department in their media release.
Although the action merits me sharing it again, I am disappointed with the action of one of our citizens who elected to interject themselves into the law enforcement effort to safely and peacefully resolve the armed confrontation. The citizen began to interfere with the negotiation effort by shouting out other comments and information distracting Biller’s attention from the efforts of those law enforcement professionals on scene. One of the Deputies on scene made contact with the citizen directing the citizen to cease from the interference and attempted to remove them from the dangerous area. The citizen refused and declared that the citizen was there to make sure law enforcement does not kill anyone tonight. This citizen’s action potentially was inflaming an already intense situation and was putting the citizen, the area neighbors and the law enforcement on scene in jeopardy.
I have been a law enforcement officer for nearly forty years. During that time, serving in a variety of different positions including SWAT, I have never heard any of my law enforcement peers proclaim they hope to end someone’s life. Never! Yet, there are persons such as this citizen who feel that is the goal. On the other hand though, there have been countless times where I have heard citizens threaten me, my family, my peers suggesting they are going to kill one of us. I am sure it is obvious I am disappointed, because I expected more, especially from those we serve locally.
We are professionals, responding to calls for help, preparing to overwhelm and overcome the worst society can offer and we do this with the main goal of bringing EVERYONE out safely no matter what side of the law you are on. This was demonstrated last night with the actions taken by your area law enforcement. This is demonstrated daily by law enforcement officers around the United States. Sadly, there are occasions when we cannot accomplish that idea and we are immediately judged for those actions.
I will end with this. Lieutenant Denovi was injured last night and needed to seek medical attention. He was injured because he knew the actions of this armed felon were endangering people he did not even know by name but serves diligently. He was injured because he knew he had to end this armed pursuit before the subject caused harm or potentially killed someone. He was injured because he placed everyone else’s life ahead of his own, because that is what we do. We are your law enforcement community serving you to the utmost each day.
It seems that you have AdBlock Enabled.
WE GET IT! Ads are annoying, but its how we provide you FREE content.
Please support this website by adding us to your whitelist in your ad blocker. Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Thank you from your OnFocus Team.