Police reveal details from behind-the-scenes of road rage invest - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Police reveal details from behind-the-scenes of road rage investigation


Police said tensions were high as they arrived at the Menard's parking lot in Wausau, with a gun at the center of attention.

Dash cam video from Tuesday shows officers pulling up to the scene, but Wausau Police said they weren't surprised by the firearm.

"The fact that the party involved that had a weapon, notified dispatch of that ahead of time is very helpful to the officers," said Deputy Chief Bryan Hilts.

It all started after police said dispatchers got their first calls around one o'clock Tuesday afternoon.

Both Nicholas Flanagan and Scott Van Patter called authorities from their cars on Highway 29.

Moments later, dispatchers told both Flanagan and Scott Van Patter to pull off and wait for authorities. Something dispatch supervisors said they ask drivers to do after an accident.

"The dispatchers directed both drivers to go to the parking lot to get them off the high speed highway, where a vehicle crash could be fatal and could also impact other people," said Hilts.

Wausau Police officials said they knew they need to act fast.

"Try to make sure the parties are separated and then to secure any weapons to be sure that those can't be used to escalate things," said Hilts.

But officials said actions by Nicholas Flanagan and passenger Jessica Ratliff made the situation worse, ending in their arrest.

"The parties in the van didn't follow direction, to stay in their vehicle, there's no reason we should assume that they would follow direction to go to a different parking lot either," said Hilts.

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