UPDATE: Man arrested in armed car robberies, high-speed chase in Wausau released from prison early
WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) - The man arrested Tuesday night after police say he stole an Aspirus van at gunpoint, broke into a home and stole another car in Wausau prompting a high-speed chase and standoff in Weston, was released from prison early.
Court documents show Brand Biller, 30, was released about four months ago. He was sentenced about a year ago for felony bail jumping and a few misdemeanor charges in Outagamie County. In May of this year, after completing the Earned Release Program at Oshkosh Correctional Institution, he requested to be released early on extended supervision for the rest of his sentence. Judge Carrie Schneider granted the request.
He has since had two separate incidents, facing felony charges, including a string of similar events to the ones in the Wausau area about two weeks ago in Grand Chute. Warrants were issued in both Winnebago and Outagamie Counties for those separate incidents.
Biller will be formally charged Thursday. The Wausau Police Department and Marathon County Sheriff’s Office will be recommending charges of armed robbery, burglary, operating a vehicle without owner’s consent, felon in possession of a firearm, and fleeing an officer.
Wausau Police Capt. Ben Graham said after observing and speaking with the man identified as the subject of the incidents, Brand Biller, 30, “drugs likely played a factor in his behavior and his criminality from last evening.”
No drugs were found on Biller, but Graham said Wednesday afternoon they suspect methamphetamine and possibly heroin were involved, however they are not recommending any drug charges related to this incident at this time.
“We often find that drugs are an underlying condition from which a lot of our other quality of life crimes are a result, and I think that what will come out, in this case, is that drugs, once again, drug use, drug distribution in our community led to a lot of poor decision-making last night,” Graham explained. “It endangered the public. It endangered our officers...and I’m just thankful that it ended the way it did.”
Graham stated Marathon County dispatch received a call for an armed robbery and theft of an Aspirus transport van from Aspirus Wausau Hospital at 7:16 p.m. Tuesday.
The caller reported to police that a man entered the passenger side of an occupied Aspirus transport van, showed a handgun, and made demands of the driver. The driver, an Aspirus employee, was able to leave the vehicle without being physically harmed. The suspect then stole the van.
At 7:30 p.m., dispatch received a second call of a stolen vehicle from a home on the 1500 block of West Knox Street in Wausau.
That caller reported to police that a man entered the home, said he had a gun, and took keys to the homeowner’s car telling them not to follow him. The suspect stole the homeowner’s car. He left the Aspirus transport van in the homeowner’s driveway.
At 7:55 PM, investigatory said a deputy with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office found the stolen vehicle traveling east on Highway 29 from US-51. The driver did not stop when the deputy attempted to pull him over with lights and sirens, prompting a high-speed chase reaching speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.
Deputies said the suspect left the road on East Everest Avenue, near Community Center Drive in Weston.
Lt. Steven Denovi with the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office followed and pinned the suspect vehicle against a tree, disabling the stolen vehicle. The Sheriff’s Office told NewsChannel 7 Wednesday that Denovi was minorly injured due to the maneuver and will likely be out for a few days, but is doing well.
After the vehicle was disabled, there was a standoff for approximately 50 minutes. Investigators said the suspect remained in the vehicle, had a firearm, and threatened to commit suicide.
“We did hear a huge crash and we ran outside just to check on what it was,” Staisha Reed, who was near the crash described. She said she saw nearly a dozen squads rush in. “The car started smoking. The person ran out. He did mention that he was suicidal. He had a gun up to his head, I do believe. He was telling officers to kill him.”
The Marathon County lieutenant on the scene deescalated the situation and convinced him to surrender without further incident.
Biller was arrested and transported to the Marathon County Jail. Deputies said there were three warrants for Biller’s arrest through the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office, and the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation is ongoing. This story will be updated as information becomes available.
$25,000 warrant in Outagamie County
Court documents for the pending case in Outagamie County show similar charges, with a warrant amounting to $25,000.
The criminal complaint states that on Aug. 19 around 11:15 in the morning, officers with the Grand Chute Police Department were called to investigate a crash at the intersection of S. Bluemound Drive and W. Tillman Street. They were told the driver who crashed into the other car ran from the scene and the other was hurt.
Officers saw two severely damaged vehicles. It looked like one car “T-bone(d)” the other on the driver’s side. Officers said the driver who was hit sustained minor injuries and taken to a hospital. A witness said after the crash, the driver who ran stole another vehicle nearby and drove through a stop sign. His and the injured driver’s description of the driver officers said was consistent with Brand Biller.
In the car that crashed into the other vehicle, officers found Biller’s identification, a syringe with a clear substance in it that later tested positive for amphetamine. Biller also was noted to have a revoked license due to a prior OWI conviction.
The stolen car was later found in the garage of a home in Appleton and the homeowner had called police finding that car and noticing that their own vehicle was missing.
An officer later went to the home where the vehicle was registered. A woman said the car belonged to her, but it was being driven by her ex-boyfriend, Brand Biller. She said Biller came to her house about 30 minutes before the officer arrived. She said he had asked her to store some of his clothes at the apartment and she allowed him to do that. However, the two got into an argument about “petty personal issues” and Biller told her he was going to leave. The woman said he better leave the car, but Biller responded by punching her in the eye, which she told the officer caused minimal pain.
Her daughter told the officer she saw the punch and said Biller was taking his clothes and believed he had taken some of her mother’s things too.
Biller was not arrested for this incident, so police issued a warrant for his arrest. All of the pending charges listed are noted as repeat offenses.
A year ago, Biller was convicted of three felony charges in Outagamie County, as well as two others in 2016 which included burglary and theft of moveable property worth $10,000 or more, which also had the repeater modifiers. He was also found guilty of making and/or delivering heroin in Winnebago County in 2016 as a repeater. He has other felony and misdemeanor convictions since he turned 17-years-old.
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