UPDATED: Suspect tried to ram Wrightstown officer during early morning chase

Posted at 1:10 p.m. on June 17, 2021

By Ed Byrne

The Brillion News

WRIGHTSTOWN - An early morning chase that began when a Wrightstown Police officer went to a residential street to check out the report of a suspicious vehicle, with no lights, ended with a chase, a crash and the arrest of the suspect after a foot pursuit.

WPD Officer Gary DeWinter was not injured in the incident, whcih began at 3:24 a.m. That's when the Brown County 911 Center dispatched DeWinter to Bengal Lane to check out a suspicious vehicle.

He spotted a car partially in the ditch, on the side of Plum Road (County D), south of State 96.

"When the officer activated his emergency lights, the vehicle pulled out of the ditch and drove head-on toward the officer's squad car - barely missing the squad," WPD Chief Greg Deike said.

That got the chase started. It went north on Plum Road to High Street (State 96) and then west to the roundabout at the east end of the State 96 Fox River bridge.

"The vehicle crossed the median, driving into the opposite lane of traffic and onto the sidewalks," Deike said. "The vehicle entered the roundabout at High Street and Turner Street, going the wrong direction ... [then] went down into the ravine, crashing into a tree."

The driver got out of the car and fled into the woods, where DeWinter found him and took him into custody.

The man is a 31-year old from Appleton.

He was taken into custody on charges of recklessly endangering safety, eluding an officer and suspicion of impaired driving - all criminal offenses.

"There are going to be more charges," Deike said, including charges for running over mailboxes in the Golden Wheat subdivision.


County Rescue ambulance, Wrightstown Area EMS First Responders, the Wisconsin State Patrol, and Brown County Sheriff's deputies were all dispatched to the scene on the east end of the bridge.


{ Photo at right >> A Wrightstown frefighter secured the suspect's car about 150 feet down a steep embankment.]


The driver was alone in the car and had contact with the Calumet County Sheriff's Department near Hollandtown earlier in the night - where he was cited for a driver's license violation by a CCSD deputy. Deike made contact with the Calumet County deputy and they determined that the suspect gave the deputy a false name.


The man's identity and condition were not released. EMS personnel were warned to stage before going down the hill to provide medical assistance due to concerns about the man being under the influence of a controlled substance.


State 96 was blocked at the east end of the bridge by the Wrightstown Fire Department for about an hour. The road was reopened to normal traffic around 4:45 a.m.


[ << Photo: A wrecker pulled the car up the hill, where state troopers searched it for evidence and contraband. Ed Byrne/BN photos]





County Rescue ambulance took the driver to a Green Bay hospital.

WPD Officer Gary DeWinter was not injured. The suspect's vehicle sustained significant front end damage.

The Wisconsin State Patrol is handling the investigation of the chas and crash.

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