By Shereen Siewert
The Wausau man who crashed his boat into a west side park at a high rate of speed is facing felony charges filed Tuesday in Marathon County Circuit Court.
Bystander video captured 49-year-old Joel Kleiber speeding across Lake Wausau and ramming his watercraft on to a boat ramp at D.C. Everest Park, 1800 S. Third Ave., on Sunday afternoon. See the full video below.
Kleiber now faces charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and disorderly conduct in the crash. He was arrested Monday evening at his home after being identified through photos and videos taken at the scene, and taken to the Marathon County Jail. Police say they recognized Kleiber from past contacts with him.
Several witnesses called police after allegedly seeing the incident and fearing for their safety at the boat landing, which was filled with boaters, vehicles and many people on foot. One witness told police Kleiber, who allegedly narrowly averted striking a vehicle in the parking lot, appeared to have “no emotional reaction to the incident” and “implied he did it on purpose” because he said “I was parking my boat.”
When confronted by a bystander, Kleiber allegedly grabbed his red, wheeled cooler and took off on foot. Several witnesses said they feared Kleiber could have seriously injured or killed someone, according to court documents.
Kleiber faces additional charges of disorderly conduct-domestic abuse and criminal damage to property, in a separate case also filed on Tuesday.
An initial appearance is set for Tuesday.