BARRON COUNTY — Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald was injured while pursuing a fleeing suspect on foot Thursday evening in Rice Lake, WI.
At approximately 8:30p, Barron County Dispatch received a call of an erratic driver near Wal-Mart. A Deputy witnessed the vehicle and stopped the vehicle before the driver, identified as Donnie Strand, sped away and a chase ensued.
At one point, the suspect's vehicle lost a tire but continued driving.
Sheriff Fitzgerald responded to the call and when observing the vehicle, the suspect apparently jumped out of the still-moving vehicle.
Sheriff Fitzgerald pursued the suspect on foot before falling, however, the suspect was apprehended a short time later and was taken into custody on Operate While Intoxicated - 2nd Offense; and Vehicle Operator Flee/Elude Officer - Bodily Harm/Damage to Property
The fall resulted in a fractured arm and a significant hamstring pull to Fitzgerald who was unable to drive himself to the hospital so an ambulance was used to transport him.
Sheriff Fitzgerald told DrydenWire.com this morning that he will be issuing a press release later today with more information. DrydenWire will update this post below when that information is released.
UPDATE: Sheriff Fitzgerald has issued the following press release.
On Thursday, June 10, 2021, at 8:28 p.m., the Barron County Sheriff’s Department received a call advising of a black sedan swerving and traveling at a high rate of speed on 19th Street near 16 1⁄2 Avenue.
A Sheriff’s Deputy attempted a traffic stop on 19th Street south of the roundabout. The driver stopped on County O near Highway 53 and then took off. A chase ensued eastbound on County O with the suspect’s vehicle hitting 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 then went eastbound on Bracklin Street and turned into an alley. The suspect then fled on foot. As deputies pursued the suspect on foot, Sheriff Fitzgerald was injured. Sheriff Fitzgerald was transported to Marshfield Medical Center and later released with leg and arm injuries.
Special thanks to all the citizens that came to assist Sheriff Fitzgerald while deputies along with Rice Lake Police Officers and Wisconsin State Patrol Troopers searched the area for the suspect. Two Rice Lake Police Officers located Mr. Strand near Mastercraft and he was taken into custody without incident.
Donnie Strand, 29 of Rice Lake, was apprehended on fleeing causing injury and OWI 2nd and is being held at the Barron County Jail awaiting formal charges by the Barron County District Attorney’s Office.
- Per Chris Fitzgerald, Barron County Sheriff