By Shereen Siewert
A 57-year-old Weston man is facing up to 22 1/2 years in prison after allegedly “driving like a mad man” on Volkman Street and narrowly avoiding passing vehicles, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in Marathon County Circuit Court.
Richard Weis appeared Aug. 26 in Marathon County Circuit Court, where he faces charges of seventh-offense drunken driving and second degree recklessly endangering safety. He is being held on a $20,000 cash bond.
According to the criminal complaint, Everest Metro Police received a complaint at about 3:35 p.m. Aug. 23 form a man who said his vehicle was nearly struck by a blue van traveling on Volkman Street near Bus. Hwy. 51 at a high rate of speed. A nearby officer spotted the vehicle, which was driving with a flat tire on its rim, with smoke and sparks flying, police said. Weis eventually stopped his vehicle at the intersection of Sternberg Avenue and Camp Phillips Road. Police say Weis was in the wrong lane of travel facing eastbound in the westbound lane.
Weis, who refused to submit to field sobriety testing or a preliminary breath test, was taken to a local hospital for a chemical test of his blood. Results are pending.
Court records show Weis was previously convicted of OWI twice in 1996, then again in 1999 and 2000, and twice in 2008, court records show.
During an indigency hearing Aug. 28 a judge determined Weis does not qualify for a public defender. Future court dates have not yet been set.