By Shereen Siewert
WAUSAU – A 62-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly dragged one police officer alongside his vehicle and nearly struck another officer before leading police on a mile-long chase near downtown Wausau.
Bradley J. Latz of Wausau faces charges in Marathon County Circuit Court of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, second offense operating while intoxicated causing injury, fleeing an officer and resisting arrest. The charges carry a combined maximum sentence of more than 25 years in prison and up to $55,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
Just before midnight on Thursday, officers were called to a tavern in the 700 block of Washington Street in Wausau for a report of a medical emergency. A bartender called police and said a man had fallen off a bar stool and was “gushing blood.”
When police arrived they found Latz bleeding from the head. Latz refused to wait for an ambulance and walked out the side door of the building before getting into his vehicle. When officers tried to keep Latz from driving, one officer’s holster became stuck on the door frame. Latz drove away, dragging the officer alongside the car for about 15 yards and nearly striking another officer before the officer freed himself.
Police then chased Latz for about a mile on the city’s near east side at speeds of about 40 to 45 mph before multiple squad cars contained Latz’s vehicle near the intersection of Bridge and 7th Streets. Latz did not cooperate with officers and was removed from the vehicle at gunpoint, according to the police report.
Latz first appeared in court on Friday. Marathon County Circuit Judge Greg Huber ordered Latz held on a $10,000 signature bond with the first $5,000 to be paid in cash.
Latz has two prior OWI convictions including a 1999 conviction for causing injury while intoxicated.
A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday.