Man pleads not guilty in motorcycle shop hostage situation

AP News
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Posted: Apr 11, 2016 6:36 PM

NEENAH, Wis. (AP) — A man accused of taking hostages inside a Wisconsin motorcycle shop, which led to a fatal shooting, pleaded not guilty Monday to a long list of charges.

Brian Flatoff appeared in Winnebago County Circuit Court, where he was arraigned on 16 felony counts, WLUK-TV (http://bit.ly/1qK9VvC ) reported. Prosecutors say Flatoff went to Eagle Nation Cycles on Dec. 5 to confront a man about a motorcycle, but instead took hostages.

One of the people inside the shop, Michael Funk, was fatally shot after escaping the building. Neenah police say Funk ignored orders to drop the gun he was carrying. The fatal shooting remains under investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Charges against Flatoff, 46, include two counts of attempted homicide, as he is accused of shooting at officers. A police officer was injured after a bullet bounced off his helmet.

Flatoff also is charged with felony reckless endangerment and other crimes after authorities said he fired a bullet into a woman's bedroom wall after a night of drinking. Those charges arose from events that prosecutors say preceded the standoff.

Funk's widow, Theresa Mason-Funk, filed a $3.5 million claim in March against the City of Neenah and three police officers.

Neenah police have said one or more officers opened fire on Funk and that the gunman inside also may have shot at him. Funk's wife, attorney and longtime business partner have all said he was a hostage who shouldn't have been killed.

The three officers were placed on paid administrative leave after the shooting and returned to desk duty on Dec. 28.

Flatoff is due back in court April 27.

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This story has been corrected to show Flatoff faces two counts of attempted homicide.

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Information from: WLUK-TV, http://www.fox11online.com