Flatoff faces attempted homicide, murder charges in motorcycle shop standoff

Brian Flatoff (Winnebago Co. Jail)

Additional charges - including two counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and felony murder - were filed Wednesday against the suspect in a Neenah standoff.

Brian Flatoff is now also charged with taking hostages, false imprisonment, and an additional count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to online court records.

Flatoff appeared in court Monday on the original charges, when his defense team requested a competency hearing. Court officials are checking to determine if a psyhiatric review for a similar request in another case can be used in this case.

His next court date is currently scheduled for Jan. 25.

Flatoff allegedly went to a friend's house on Dec. 5. According to the criminal complaint Flatoff and his friend were up Friday night into Saturday morning drinking. The friend told police Flatoff was so drunk, at one point he fell down, hitting his head. She said Flatoff threatened her with a handgun and shot a hole in her wall.

Later, he went to the Eagle Nation Cycles shop in attempt to get back a motorcycle he had sold, where a standoff ensued. After Flatoff gave police one minute to meet with someone or else he would start shooting hostages, Neenah police decided to have officers enter the business.

The attempted homicide counts are for shots Flatoff allegedly fired at Officer Jonathan Kuffle and Officer Craig Hoffer. Hoffer was struck in the helmet, but survived.

One man, M.L. Funk, was shot and killed upon exiting the store. Flatoff is charged with felony murder for Funk's death, as the death was allegedly triggered by Flatoff's crime of false imprisonment, the complaint states.

According to the complaint:

"Officer Berna heard several gun shots from that direction then observed a man, later positively identified as Michael L. Funk, exit the rear door of Eagle Nation Cycles. Officer Berna saw that Funk had a silver handgun in his hands. Officer Berna heard officers yell, "Police, show me your hands," or, "police drop the gun". Officer Berna said Funk moved while still holding the gun in a manner that caused officers to fear for their safety. Officer Berna said that the police officers behind him then fired at Funk. Officer Berna observed Funk fall to the ground," it states.

Funk's wife, attorney and longtime business partner all have said he was a hostage who shouldn't have been killed.

The state Dept. of Criminal Investigation is reviewing the actions of police officers at the scene.

Two hostages left inside the building - Ryan Moderson and Michael Peterson - were allowed to leave after phone negotiations between police and Flatoff.

"Eventually, after continued contacts with the negotiators, the defendant agreed to put his gun down and come outside. At that time, deputies of the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office took the defendant into custody without incident," the complaint states.

For the conspiracy to commit homicide count, the complaint alleges Flatoff had Moderson call Vance Dalton, the motorcycle's original owner, to get him to cycle shop, although Moderson "was able to quietly tell Dalton to call the police and that the defendant had a gun."

Later, Flatoff told police the motorcycle was the motivation for the incident.

"(Flatoff) admitted that the dispute today was as a result of his motorcycle being stolen from him. The defendant said that Vance Dalton posted a $3000 bond for him in his open Outagamie County case and then told the defendant that he would have to pay him $8000 to get his motorcycle back. The defendant stated that he considered this a theft of his motorcycle and that, "I have every intention of killing him," referring to Dalton. The defendant said that when he went to recover his motorcycle from Eagle Nation Cycles on this day he "snapped" when he saw his motorcycle on a lift, partially disassembled and partially re-painted," the complaint states.

With the addition of four bailjumping charges, Flatoff now faces a total of 16 charges.

Chief Kevin Wilkinson with the Neenah Police Department said, "I'm impressed with the work, it was revealing to me. There were things in there that I was unaware of."

The criminal complaint sheds light on the day of the incident.

It says Brian Flatoff went to Eagle Nation Cycles to confront a man, who he thought stole his motorcycle.

Things got out of hand, and two Neenah police officers entered the shop.

Flatoff shot at the officers, and they returned fire. One officer was shot in his helmet and went down.

Wilkinson said, "A lot of people were endangered."

The complaint says Flatoff asked one of the hostages, Michael Funk, to close the back door.

Instead, Funk ran out the door, and Flatoff fired at him.

An officer said he saw Funk run out of the shop with a silver handgun.

The officer said Funk was holding the gun in a way that made officers fear for their safety.

Funk was then shot and killed, which is the biggest point of contention for his family and their attorney.

Cole White, Funk's family's attorney, said, "Obviously the family wants to see Mr. Flatoff held responsible for what he did, but we are concerned that in some ways, this will serve as a deflection of the officer's response and the police department's response to this situation."

Funk's family's attorney says they are still considering a wrongful death suit against police.

White said, "We're just waiting to see how it plays out."

Wilkinson said, "Ultimately we're going to need everything, we want all of it. We want the video we want the full statements, we want to know everything about what happened there."

The family of Michael Funk told FOX 11 they are planning to protest outside of Eagle Nation Cycles this Saturday from 1:00-4:00.

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