Suspect in Wausau Attack Asks for New Attorney

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UPDATE: Wed 10:51 AM, Jul 31, 2013

The 33-year-old Wausau man accused of a attacking and threatening a woman as she walked a nature trail on Wausau's eastside, said he wants the court to appoint him an attorney, but not a public defender.

Robert Woods appeared in Marathon County Court Wednesday for preliminary hearing, however the hearing was delayed as Woods does not have an attorney.

The alleged attacked reportedly occurred July 24 in Paff Wood Nature Reserve near Kickbusch Street in Wausau. Police say the victim suffered minor injuries.

Woods did have public defender during his July 25 initial appearance, however he said that counsel was ineffective.

Wednesday, Woods waived his time limits which could mean a new attorney would have more time to prepare the case.

Woods is free on bond. He was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim.

He's scheduled to return to court August 26 for a clerical court proceeding, however a new date for his preliminary hearing has not been set.

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

ORIGINAL STORY: Fri 10:05 AM, Jul 26, 2013

A Wausau woman has minor injuries, after police say a man followed, and then attacked her while she walked in a Wausau Park, in a dramatic and apparently random attack.

It happened in broad daylight, at about 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at Paff Woods Nature Preserve. Robert Woods, 33, of Wausau is charged with strangulation/suffocation and making threats to injure, and is being held on a $25,000 cash bond.

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”.

Woods is due back in court July 31st for a Preliminary Hearing.

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