By Shereen Siewert

A 24-year-old Wausau man was arrested Sunday morning after allegedly trying to blow up his former girlfriend’s vehicle.

William Pries III faces felony charges of attempted arson of a property other than a building. He appeared Tuesday, Aug. 20 in Marathon County Circuit Court and was released on a $2,000 signature bond. In addition to the felony charges, Pries faces three counts of possessing drug paraphernalia and two counts of bail jumping.

Police were called just after 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 18 to the area of North Fourth Street and Washington Street for a possible vehicle fire. Dispatchers said the reporting party said there was something burning underneath the car and thought it was a possible flare.

When officers and firefighter arrived they discovered a flare underneath the vehicle along with a bottle of lighter fluid, according to the police report. Police traced the vehicle to a Wausau woman living about a block away from the vehicle fire. The woman told officers she and Pries were in an “on again, off again” relationship and that Pries had repeatedly sent her text messages asking to talk and demanding the woman allow him to use her location services to track her, according to the police report. The woman allegedly asked Pries to leave her alone, but he went to her apartment early Sunday and refused to leave, police said, only walking away after the woman pretended to call 911.

Surveillance footage shows Pries at about 6:20 a.m. Sunday walking up to the woman’s vehicle and placing a flare and another object underneath the car, according to the criminal complaint.

Police attempted speaking with Pries Sunday morning but a roommate turned officers away, claiming Pries was not in the apartment. After obtaining a search warrant, however, officers discovered Pries inside and placed him under arrest.

According to the police report, Pries said he regretted his actions and believed he should go to jail.

A pretrial conference is set for Sept. 12.