By Shereen Siewert

A 25-year-old Wausau man is accused of trying to kill a woman he forced into a vehicle before crashing into a ditch at a high rate of speed near Edgar in December.

After the Dec. 14 vehicle crash, police said, the suspect hit the woman in the face and tried to strangle her.

Manuel Hoffman now faces charges of attempted first degree intentional homicide, two counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety, false imprisonment, strangulation/suffocation, resisting an officer resulting in substantial bodily harm, taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent and by use of force, battery, possession of methamphetamine, hit and run, and bail jumping. The charges were filed Feb. 5 in Marathon County Circuit Court.

During an initial appearance Wednesday, Circuit Judge Mike Moran ordered Hoffman held on a $1 million cash bond.

Deputies were called to the scene at about 7:19 a.m. Dec. 14 for a report of a woman lying in the ditch next to a crashed vehicle. Dispatch advised deputies that a man on scene was trying to kill the woman and possibly had a firearm.

Before deputies arrived Hoffman allegedly got into the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Traverse SUV belonging to a passerby who stopped to see if he needed assistance and fled the scene, again traveling at speeds exceeding 100 mph, court documents state. He ultimately crashed that vehicle in a rollover near Hwy. F. Hoffman was injured in the second crash and was found by deputies, still in the driver’s seat.

When deputies tried to apprehend Hoffman he refused to cooperate, breaking a deputy’s bone in the struggle that ensued, according to court documents. Police were forced to use a taser to get Hoffman under control.

Police say Hoffman struck two other vehicles in the Ford Escape he was initially driving before crashing into the ditch. Methamphetamine was discovered in his vehicle along with drug paraphernalia, police said.

Court records show Hoffman has convictions in multiple prior drug and theft cases.

A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 12.

Investigative journalist, music enthusiast, blogger, animal lover, kayaker, knitter, wife, mother.