Advertisement

Man, 51, arrested for hate crime in Wausau

Aaron Nielsen booking photo. Courtesy: Marathon County Jail. June 3, 2020.
Aaron Nielsen booking photo. Courtesy: Marathon County Jail. June 3, 2020.(WSAW)
Published: Jun. 2, 2020 at 7:52 PM CDT
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Aaron Nielsen, 51, is in jail accused of a hate crime in Wausau. According to a post on the Wausau Police Department's Facebook page, it stems from a fight at a gas station June 1 on Wausau's west side.

"Racism exists here in our community," said Wausau Chief of Police Ben Bliven. "Sitting idly by isn't gonna be OK anymore in our community. We have to do better than just accepting racism exists. We're gonna have to do more."

Officers determined Nielsen used a racial slur toward a person of color. Initially, officers issued a summons for battery and because of COVID-19 protocols, most misdemeanor offenses result in a summons to court rather than an arrest.

However, after reviewing the case, the police department consulted with the Marathon County attorney and determined the incident qualifies as a hate crime, which is a felony.

Nielsen is in jail and is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

The post goes on to say, "Racism exists here. It flourishes when it goes unaddressed. Please join us in speaking out against racism. Please join us in listening and learning from our neighbors who are persons of color. Seek to understand their perspective which is formed from unique experiences. While we aren’t perfect, we will continue to strive for a better quality of life for everyone that lives here."

Message from Chief Bliven

ARREST OF AARON NIELSEN Last night, June 1, officers responded to a fight in progress at a gas station on the near West side. Through investigation the officers determined that a white man used a racial slur toward a Person of Color and a fight ensued. Officers on scene issued a summons for battery to the suspect as a result of their investigation. Due to current COVID 19 protocols, most misdemeanor offenses result in a summons to court rather than a custodial arrest and transport to jail. When reviewing the case today, we consulted with the Marathon County District Attorney and determined this incident qualifies as a Hate Crime under Wisconsin statute 939.645. Because it qualifies as a Hate Crime, this offense rises to the felony level. Since recording the attached video, we have taken this perpetrator, Aaron G Nielsen, 51 years old, into custody. He will await a court appearance in jail. Racism exists here. It flourishes when it goes unaddressed. Please join us in speaking out against racism. Please join us in listening and learning from our neighbors who are persons of color. Seek to understand their perspective which is formed from unique experiences. While we aren’t perfect, we will continue to strive for a better quality of life for everyone that lives here.

Posted by Wausau Police Department on Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Latest News

Latest News