WASHBURN COUNTY -- A man is facing felony charges in Washburn County Circuit Court after he was arrested following a multi-county high speed pursuit.
According to a press release from the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office on July 24, 2020, the driver of the vehicle involved in the high speed pursuit was Jason Arnold, of Exeland, WI. Arnold was also wanted on a warrant from the US Marshalls.
On July 22, 2020 shortly before 2:30 in the afternoon, the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office was advised of a pursuit headed towards Washburn County on Highway 70 in Sawyer County. It was advised that the driver of the vehicle was Jason Arnold. The criminal complaint filed against Arnold in Washburn County Circuit Court states that Arnold had active arrest warrants and had recently been arrested following a standoff with law enforcement to which the Washburn County SWAT team responded.
All available Washburn County Sheriff’s units responded to intercept the pursuit of Arnold which was being conducted by approximately 10 Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin State Patrol squad vehicles.
Near the intersection of Highway 70 and Benson Thompson Drive, spike strips were placed in an attempt to stop Arnold, however, he was able to drive around them and the pursuit continued.
As the pursuit travelled into the area of the intersection of Highways 70 and 53; Law Enforcement positioned squad vehicles to prevent Arnold from entering the City of Spooner. Arnold turned onto Cranberry Drive before driving through a hay field and then onto Highway 53 to avoid a Washburn County Sheriff’s Department squad vehicle. Arnold drove southbound in the northbound lane, travelling head-on at a Sheriff’s Department squad vehicle before driving into the median and re-entering the southbound lane.
Another set of spike strips were set up near the intersection of County B and Highway 53, however Arnold was able avoid the strips by driving around them. Shortly after this a Deputy came alongside Arnold at speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour while attempting to box Arnold in and stop the pursuit; Arnold tapped his chest, waved at the deputy, and accelerated away, according to the criminal complaint filed against him.
In the area of County Highway P and Miller Lake Road Arnold travelled over a set of spike strips, which caused the tired on his vehicle to deflate, after which he turned and drove back towards law enforcement; ultimately colliding head on with a Washburn County Sheriff’s Office squad vehicle which was positioned between Arnold and a nearby residence. Law Enforcement was able to stop Arnold at this point, preventing him from potentially either striking or entering the nearby residence, according to the criminal complaint.
Initially Arnold did not comply with law enforcement instructions, however he did ultimately exit his vehicle and was taken into custody.
During the pursuit, Arnold spoke to Washburn County Dispatchers, telling them that he was not going to stop until he was able to make it to the nearest Mormon church.
Arnold is charged with 2 counts of Class F Felony First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Class H Felony Battery to a Law Enforcement Officer, Class I Felony Reckless Driving Causing Great Bodily Harm, and Class I Felony Attempting to Flee or Elude and Officer.
The Court placed Arnold on a $50,000 cash bond, according to the press release from the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office, and he is scheduled to appear in Court again on July 27th.
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.