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BARRON COUNTY -- The Court has sentenced Donnie Strand on convictions from an incident that occurred in June 2021 in Rice Lake, WI during which he fled from law enforcement. Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald was injured as a result of his pursuit of Strand.
On June 10, 2021, the Barron County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call of an erratic driver on 19th Street near 16 1⁄2 Avenue. A traffic stop was attempted, and the vehicle stopped on County O near Highway 53 before taking off again.
A pursuit ensued eastbound on County O. The suspect’s vehicle hit the curb through the roundabout and then proceeded northbound on Pioneer Avenue reaching speeds of 75 miles per hour. The suspect’s vehicle lost a tire during the pursuit as a result of hitting the curb in the roundabout. The suspect, later identified as Donnie Strand, then drove eastbound on Bracklin Street and turned into an alley before fleeing on foot.
Sheriff Fitzgerald was among other deputies pursuing Strand on foot. During his pursuit, Fitzgerald fell down and was injured. The Sheriff was transported to Marshfield Medical Center and later released with leg and arm injuries.
Rice Lake Police Department and Wisconsin State Patrol assisted the Barron County Sheriff’s Department with the search for Strand and he was located a short time later and taken into custody without further incident.
Strand was charged in Barron County Circuit Court with Class G Felony 2nd-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Class I Felony Vehicle Operator Flee/Elude Officer, Class H Felony Bail Jumping, and Misdemeanor Operate with Restricted Controlled Substance (3rd). He appeared most recently on July 12, 2022, for a sentencing hearing.
The Hon. James Babler ordered Strand to serve a 5-year sentence for his conviction of Class H Felony Bail Jumping with 2 years of initial confinement in state prison followed by 3 years of extended supervision. For his conviction of Class I Felony Vehicle Operator Flee/Elude Officer Strand was ordered to serve a sentence of 3 years and 6 months. The initial 1 year and 6 months are to be served in confinement in state prison followed by 2 years of extended supervision. Strand is to serve his sentences concurrently and conditions of supervision will require him to successfully complete any and all evaluations, counseling, treatment, and follow-up as ordered by his parole officer.
Strand was previously sentenced for his conviction of Misdemeanor Operate with Restricted Controlled Substance (3rd Offense) and also for a separate conviction of Misdemeanor Operating While Intoxicated (2nd Offense) from another Barron County Criminal Court case at a hearing in May 2022. He was ordered to serve a total of 120 days in county jail, undergo an Alcohol and Other Drug Assessment, and comply with recommended follow-up treatment.
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At the hearing in May 2022 Strand also was sentenced to pay over $500 in costs on a conviction of Domestic Disorderly conduct from a separate Barron County Court case. Additional charges against Strand were dismissed at the hearing in May including his charge of Class G Felony 2nd-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Class H Felony Bail Jumping, Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing an Officer, and non-criminal charges of Operating While Suspended, Passing in No-Passing Zone, Fail/Stop at Stop Sign, and Unreasonable and Imprudent Speed.