By Shereen Siewert

A 29-year-old Edgar man is facing criminal charges after two men accused him of pulling a gun on them and threatening their lives at a town of Cassel tavern.

Victor Lottice II, who is free on a $1,000 cash bond, faces charges filed May 20 in Marathon County Circuit Court of second degree recklessly endangering safety, carrying a firearm where alcohol is sold or consumed, and obstructing an officer.

According to the criminal complaint:

Police were called at 11:43 p.m. to the Cassel Bar and Grill, on Hwy. N in the Marathon County town of Cassel, for a report of a threat with a weapon. When officers arrived, they encountered Lottice, who said he had gone outside the bar to be near his fiancee when two men unknown to him knocked him down and punched him in the face before they “peeled off” in a pickup. Lottice allegedly told police had “no idea” why there would be a report of a handgun and said the owner of the bar witnessed the assault.

But when investigators interviewed the men who called in the report, the story quickly changed, according to court documents.

The two men, a father and son, said they were leaving the bar when a man, identified as Lottice, started “mouthing off,” then yelled, “Do you want to fight about it?” before taking a swing at one of the men, the police report states. The men knocked Lottice to the ground and put him in a choke hold. Lotice agreed to relax if they let him go, the men told police.

When the men released Lottice, he allegedly pulled out a 9-mm Sig Sauer compact handgun, pointed it at the father’s face and said, “Do you want to (expletive) die?”

The men slowly backed away and left the bar, then phoned police. The men said the gun was no more than two feet from the father’s face, according to the police report.

The bar owner, who initially denied knowing about the weapon, eventually confirmed the victims’ statements and led police to the gun, which he had taken from Lottice and stored in the tavern’s safe.

It is unclear whether Lottice has a concealed carry permit, but Wisconsin law prohibits anyone who is consuming alcohol from carrying a weapon in a tavern.

A preliminary hearing is set for July 3.