By Joe Bachman
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — A local man faces multiple charges after fleeing an officer while intoxicated, only to eventually rollover his vehicle.
According to police reports, on Aug. 20, an officer on patrol ran plates on a red jeep traveling down Highway 54. DOT records indicated that the registered driver of the vehicle had his license revoked. After his emergency lights were activated in an attempt to pull the jeep over on Chestnut St., the driver accelerated up to 80 mph in an attempt to flee the officer.
After losing sight of the jeep, and due to safety concerns, the officer soon discontinued the pursuit by Assumption High School, and other units were notified. However, after checking the area, the officer soon observed a man who was sweating and soaking wet walking in the area of Third St. South. Once the officer identified himself to the man, later identified as 26-year-old Andrew Stensberg, he took off running towards Riverview Hospital underneath the tower.
The officer caught up with Stensberg, tasered him, and took him into custody.
Police noticed that Stensberg’s eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and that he smelled of alcohol. According to the defendant, he admittedly saw the officer’s lights and heard the siren, but did not stop because he was scared. Due to the rollover crash in the area, a field sobriety test was not performed, however, police would find a bottle of Canadian whiskey on the floor board of the jeep.
The defendant allegedly admitted to having a few drinks before getting behind the wheel before the pursuit. A blood draw would later be performed to determine Stensberg’s blood alcohol level.
During the chase, Stensberg would strike a telephone pole, a tree stump, and part of a shed on the 800 block of Third St. South.
If convicted, Stensberg faces up to nine years and six months imprisonment for what would be his fourth OWI, as well as the charge of fleeing from an officer. His initial appearance in court is scheduled for Aug. 25.