By Shereen Siewert

A 74-year-old Wausau man is accused of threatening to “choke” an officer who arrested him on drunken driving charges, the suspect’s fourth OWI arrest overall and the second in just two years.

Police received a call at about 6:30 p.m. Monday from an off-duty police officer who spotted a driver on Hwy. 107 “all over the roadway.” The officer followed the driver, later identified as Dale H. Becker, along several county highways until a deputy could arrive. The off-duty officer reported seeing Becker strike a mailbox and operate left of the center line before being pulled over about a half hour later at the intersection of Hwy. 29 and Hwy. S in the town of Rib Falls.

According to the police report, Becker urinated on himself and nearly fell when getting out of his Chevy pickup.

Becker, who refused a preliminary breath test by blowing at the deputy and not into the tube, allegedly failed sobriety tests and became combative when the officer searched him for weapons and contraband, making “condescending and homophobic” comments and calling the deputy a “queer.”

After being transported to Aspirus Wausau Hospital for a chemical test of his blood, Becker repeatedly threatened the officer and said the officer “better never let him see me again,” according to the criminal complaint.

Blood test results are pending and Becker remains at the Marathon County Jail.

Becker now faces fourth offense drunken driving and disorderly conduct charges filed Dec. 18 in Marathon County Circuit Court. He was also cited for operating left of the center line and refusing to take an intoxication test.

An initial appearance is set for Wednesday.