Prosecutors in Winnebago County have filed a murder charge against a man accused of taking hostages at a Neenah motorcycle shop earlier this month, resulting in a standoff that ended with one person dead and an officer injured. The 11 charges against 45-year-old Brian Flatoff include felony murder and attempted first degree intentional homicide.
According to court records, Flatoff when to Eagle Nation Cycles on December 5 to confront someone about his motorcycle, which he believed was stolen. A man associated with the shop had paid $3,000 to bail Flatoff out of jail, and then took his motorcycle as collateral until he could pay back $8,000. When he arrived at the shop, Flatoff saw the motorcycle being painted and disassembled, which prompted him to fire a handgun and take three people hostage.
Shortly after the standoff began, police attempted to enter the building and Flatoff opened fire. One of those shots hit the ballistic helmet of an officer, who was treated and released for his injuries.
One of the hostages, Michael Funk, attempted to flee the building later on. Funk was carrying a handgun and police shot and killed him when he failed to drop the weapon. Because of the hostage situation and because shots had been fired at police, state law allows Flatoff to be charged with felony murder.
Flatoff later released the other two hostages and surrendered to police. He’s scheduled to appear in court in late January.
Contributed by WHBY