The following Facebook post was written by Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks, reacting to an incident of complete idiocy by a bystander in the face of a very dangerous and potentially deadly situation. This is getting to the point of being ridiculous and he took it head on. Well said, Sheriff Parks…
On September 1, 2020, Wausau Police Department provided a press release on the arrest of Brand Biller. Biller had been involved with the armed robbery and theft of two vehicles, either directly displaying a firearm or indicating he was armed. During the first incident, with force and at gunpoint, Biller took a vehicle from one of our citizens. The second incident showed just how desperate he was. Biller boldly entered a private residence and took a vehicle from the owners of this residence with force placing these citizens in great danger. Thankfully, neither of the persons the vehicles were stolen from were physically harmed. Biller was operating the second stolen vehicle when he was observed by a Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy who started pursuing the vehicle Biller was operating. Law enforcement was aware Biller was armed with at least one firearm and had committed two felony crimes. Speeds during the pursuit reached 100 miles per hour.
During the pursuit, Biller drove his vehicle off the road surface through residential yards and other property. Marathon County Sheriff Lieutenant Steven Denovi, knowing Biller was armed with a firearm and was engaging in reckless and hazardous acts jeopardizing the safety of all in the area, elected to use his patrol vehicle striking the fleeing vehicle Biller was driving with a direct and decisive impact driving the vehicle into a tree disabling the vehicle and ending the pursuit. Biller displayed he had two handguns in a fashion that was a threat to other citizens and law enforcement officers on scene. Although Denovi was injured in the vehicle stop, Denovi maintained his professionalism and negotiated for nearly 50 minutes with Biller causing Biller to surrender peacefully without further incident. Incredible actions that were shared by Wausau Police Department in their media release.
Although the action merits me sharing it again, I am disappointed with the action of one of our citizens who elected to interject themselves into the law enforcement effort to safely and peacefully resolve the armed confrontation. The citizen began to interfere with the negotiation effort by shouting out other comments and information distracting Biller’s attention from the efforts of those law enforcement professionals on scene. One of the Deputies on scene made contact with the citizen directing the citizen to cease from the interference and attempted to remove them from the dangerous area. The citizen refused and declared that the citizen was there to make sure law enforcement does not kill anyone tonight. This citizen’s action potentially was inflaming an already intense situation and was putting the citizen, the area neighbors and the law enforcement on scene in jeopardy.
I have been a law enforcement officer for nearly forty years. During that time, serving in a variety of different positions including SWAT, I have never heard any of my law enforcement peers proclaim they hope to end someone’s life. Never! Yet, there are persons such as this citizen who feel that is the goal. On the other hand though, there have been countless times where I have heard citizens threaten me, my family, my peers suggesting they are going to kill one of us. I am sure it is obvious I am disappointed, because I expected more, especially from those we serve locally.
We are professionals, responding to calls for help, preparing to overwhelm and overcome the worst society can offer and we do this with the main goal of bringing EVERYONE out safely no matter what side of the law you are on. This was demonstrated last night with the actions taken by your area law enforcement. This is demonstrated daily by law enforcement officers around the United States. Sadly, there are occasions when we cannot accomplish that idea and we are immediately judged for those actions.
I will end with this. Lieutenant Denovi was injured last night and needed to seek medical attention. He was injured because he knew the actions of this armed felon were endangering people he did not even know by name but serves diligently. He was injured because he knew he had to end this armed pursuit before the subject caused harm or potentially killed someone. He was injured because he placed everyone else’s life ahead of his own, because that is what we do. We are your law enforcement community serving you to the utmost each day.
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