By Shereen Siewert
A 30-year-old man wanted on an array of charges statewide is accused of stealing a hospital transport vehicle in Wausau and leading officers on a chase that ended with a 50-minute standoff in Weston.
Brand Biller is now in custody awaiting formal charges in Marathon County Circuit Court.
At at 7:16 p.m. Tuesday, Marathon County dispatch took a call reporting an alleged armed robbery and theft of a transport van from Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Witnesses told police a man entered the van, which was occupied, pulled out a handgun and made unspecified demands of the driver. The driver, an Aspirus employee, escaped unharmed and the suspect fled the scene in the van, police said.
About 15 minutes later, dispatchers took a second call of a stolen vehicle, this time from a home in the 1500 block of West Knox Street. The suspect entered the home, said he had a gun and took the keys to the car, leaving the abandoned Aspirus transport van behind, police said.
The second stolen vehicle was located just before 8 p.m. Monday by a Marathon County Sheriff’s deputy who spotted the car traveling east on Hwy. 29 from Hwy. 51. The driver allegedly refused to stop and a chase began, reaching speeds topping 100 mph, police said.
With deputies in pursuit, the suspect left the roadway on E Everest Avenue near Community Center Drive in Weston. A Marathon County Sheriff’s lieutenant pinned the suspect’s vehicle against a tree, disabling the stolen vehicle.
But Biller refused to surrender, police said, and a standoff followed. Police say Biller remained inside the vehicle, gun in hand, and threatened to commit suicide. Eventually, the lieutenant persuaded Biller to surrender and no one was injured.
Online court records show Biller has three outstanding warrants including one related to charges of forcibly taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, a case in Outagamie County filed last month.
Police are recommending the Marathon County District Attorney charge Biller with armed robbery, burglary, operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent, possession of a firearm as a felon and fleeing an officer. Additional charges are likely, police said, as the investigation is ongoing.
Biller remains in the Marathon County Jail and could make a court appearance as early as Wednesday afternoon, when formal charges are expected to be filed.