Bench Warrant Issued for Suspect in Wausau Park Attack

By: WSAW Staff Email
By: WSAW Staff Email

The 34-year-old Wausau man accused of attacking and threatening a woman as she walked on a nature trail on Wausau's eastside has missed a court appearance prompting a judge to issue a bench warrant for his arrest.

According to online court records, Robert Wood was scheduled to appear in Marathon County Circuit Court at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday morning for a clerical court appearance. By missing the court appearance he forfeits a $25,000 cash bond.

The alleged attacked reportedly occurred in broad daylight around 10 a.m. on July 24h, 2013 in Paff Wood Nature Reserve near Kickbusch Street in Wausau. Police say the victim suffered minor injuries.

Woods is charged with strangulation/suffocation and making threats to injure.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman told police she arrived at the park to go for a walk on the nature trails. Woods arrived shortly after she did, and asked her if she'd like to walk with him. She said 'no', but the man continued to walk behind her. When she turned and looked at him, he stated “don't worry I'm not stalking you”, and then took a different trail away from her.

When the woman arrived back at the parking lot, the man was leaning against his minivan, parked next to her moped. She got on her moped and began to drive off, when Woods grabbed her from behind, wrapping his arm around her neck and pulling her from her moped. He yelled “Give up! Just give up!” as she struggled. As she screamed and tried to get away, he pulled her hair and arms, and punched her in the nose. She got away from him briefly by falling down an embankment, and called 911 from her cell phone as he came after her again. The man demanded her cell phone, threatening to drown her in a nearby body of water. She was defiant and refused, and the man gave up and left in his van.

As Woods drove off, the woman read the license plate number to the 911 dispatcher. Police were able to locate a home at 811 McIntosh with the vehicle matching the one involved in the attack. Woods was found inside, hiding in a bedroom closet.

In an interview with police, Woods said he remembered seeing the moped and the woman at the park. He said he 'did not recall' attacking the woman. He later stated, “well if I attacked a woman I deserve to go to jail”, but said if he did attack her, it was not for sexual purposes, but to “rob her”.

If convicted, Woods faces a maximum sentence of nearly 13 years in prison.

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