BURNETT COUNTY -- Charges of 10th Offense Operating While Intoxicated have been filed against a Hinckley, MN man in Burnett County Circuit Court following an incident on August 2, 2018 in which the man fled from officers in his vehicle and then on foot.

According to a criminal complaint filed against Russell Towle, of Hinckley, MN, on August 2, 2018, Burnett County law enforcement and medical personnel responded to a call of a man, later identified as Towle, slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle near the St. Croix River.

After medical personnel made contact with Towle, he took off from the scene in his vehicle at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour (mph), taking medical equipment valued at approximately $3,000 with him.

Officer took pursuit, with Towle’s vehicle swerving ‘all over the road’. After officers caught up to Towle, he came to a stop off Landing Road, striking trees. Towle then exited the vehicle and fleeing on foot through a heavily wooded area. The criminal complaint goes on to state that a Burnett County Sheriff’s Deputy deployed a Taser at Towle due to the fact that Towle appeared to be reaching for something concealed within his clothing. Towle was taken into custody, and stated that he had consumed a “couple wine coolers”.

When officers on scene checked Towle’s vehicle, they located 3 unopened bottles of Smirnoff Ice, a marijuana pipe, a container with green plant material suspected to be marijuana, and over $2,600 worth of cash.

The criminal complaint states that Towle has previously been convicted of operating while intoxicated 9 times:

  1. July 15, 1991 in the State of MN with an incident date of 8/19/90
  2. September 2, 1993 in the State of MN with an incident date of June 19, 1993
  3. April 28, 1995 in the State of MN with an incident date of October 6, 1994
  4. September 13, 1995 Operating While Intoxicated WI Burnett County, WI with an incident date of October 6, 1994
  5. December 20, 2000 Implied Consent State of MN with an incident date of December 13, 2000
  6. February 6, 2004 Operating While Intoxicated Burnett County, WI with an incident date of August 22, 2003
  7. May 17, 2011 Prohibited Alcohol Concentration in Burnett County, WI with an incident date of February 16, 2008
  8. May 17, 2011 Prohibited Alcohol Concentration in Burnett County, WI with an incident date of September 24, 2008
  9. February 23, 2015 Operating While Intoxicated with an incident date of July 6, 2012.

Towle did consent to an evidentiary blood draw to determine his blood alcohol concentration at the time of the incident, however those results were not included in the criminal complaint at this time.

Charges of Class I Felony Vehicle Operator Flee/Elude Officer, Class E Felony OWI (10th or More), Class I Felony Criminal Damage to Property (over $2,500), Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana, Misdemeanor Possess Drug Paraphernalia, and Misdemeanor Operate While Revoked have been filed against Towle.

At the time of this post, bail bond information for Towle was not available with online circuit court records. Towle is scheduled to make an Initial Appearance for his criminal charges in September.

Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Share This Article