WASHBURN COUNTY -- A Spooner, WI man has been charged with felony fleeing an officer and felony 4th offense operating while intoxicated (OWI) following an incident on November 23, 2017 in which he led law enforcement on a pursuit from the City of Spooner, WI to north of Earl, WI, lasting a total distance of over 26 miles and repeatedly reaching speeds up to 80 miles per hour.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Derrick Tinsley, of Spooner, WI. According to the criminal complaint filed against Tinsley in Washburn County Circuit Court, the vehicle was ‘all over the road’, and was hitting speeds up to 80 miles per hour.
The vehicle failed to stop at least twice as it passed through intersections, and while on Lester Road entered a ditch and nearly struck a tree. As the pursuit continued on County Highway E, the vehicle again left the roadway and entered the ditch near a cemetery, nearly hitting a headstone. The vehicle then spun out onto the roadway and nearly crashed with a Washburn County Sheriff’s office squad car.
Multiple squad cars were involved in the pursuit, with lights and sirens activated, however, the vehicle did not stop until it turned onto a logging trail north of Earl, WI. The trail was very rugged terrain, and the vehicle finally came to a stop at the base of a hill.
When two deputies approached the vehicle, it shifted into reverse, and at that time, the deputies broke both of the front windows of the vehicle with their batons in an attempt to gain control of the suspect. After Tinsley exited the vehicle he was placed under arrest.
The criminal complaint goes on to state that after transporting Tinsley to the Washburn County Jail, deputies conducted a series of sobriety tests with him which he did not successfully complete. Tinsley agreed to a preliminary breath test, which gave a result of .11. The criminal complaint also states that Tinsley agreed to undergo a blood test. The results of that test are not known to DrydenWire.com at this time.
Tinsley is facing charges of Class I Felony Vehicle Operator Flee/Elude Officer; Class H Felony OWI, 4th Offense; and Misdemeanor Operating While Revoked. The maximum penalty for a conviction of Class H Felony Fleeing is imprisonment for not more than 3 years & 6 months, or a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. The maximum penalty for a conviction of Class H 4th Offense Felony OWI is imprisonment for not more than 6 years, or a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.
Non-criminal citations were also filed against Tinsley following the incident, 2 citations for Failure to Keep Vehicle Under Control, and 2 citations for Reckless Driving-Endanger Safety.
Online circuit court records show that Tinsley appeared on November 27, 2017, for a bail bond hearing regarding this incident and the court placed him on a $500 cash bond. Tinsley remained in the custody of the Washburn County Jail as of today, December 18, 2017, he he appeared again for a scheduling conference. The Court scheduled another conference for Tinsley on December 20, noting that Tinsley needs a defense attorney to represent him on this case.
Tinsley is also charged with Misdemeanor Operating While Revoked in separate cases in both Washburn County and Burnett County Circuit Court.
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.