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Joseph M. Westerheide
Joseph M. Westerheide

Man arrested after high-speed police chase down Knowles Ave.

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news New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

An Eagan, Minn., man faces a felony charge after allegedly leading a St. Croix County Sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase through downtown New Richmond.

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Joseph M. Westerheide, 27, was taken into custody shortly after midnight on Saturday, April 5, and has been charged with fleeing an officer and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.

According to the criminal complaint, the deputy noticed a broken tail light on a blue Ford Taurus driving south on North Knowles Avenue just after midnight, and pulled the vehicle over in the alley behind Champs Sports Bar & Grill.

The deputy identified Westerheide as the driver and noticed a beer can in the pocket of his sweatshirt, according to the complaint. When questioned about the beer can, Westerheide admitted that he had been drinking, put both hands out the window and said the deputy should just arrest him now because he was on probation for a previous drunken driving conviction.

The deputy then returned to the squad car to provide an update to dispatchers when the suspect’s vehicle fled the scene and drove north through the city on Knowles Avenue, running red lights and reaching speeds up to 85 mph, according to the complaint.

After running the red light at North Knowles Avenue and Highway 64, the vehicle left the City of New Richmond on Highway 65 reaching speeds faster than 95 mph before stopping north of 210th Avenue, according to the complaint.

Westerheide exited the vehicle as the deputy approached and laid face down on the road with his arms to the side before receiving any instructions from the deputy, according to the complaint. The deputy placed Westerheide under arrest and questioned his female passenger before releasing her and evaluating Westerheide with field sobriety tests, which he failed. A preliminary breath test indicated a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent.

Westerheide is scheduled to next appear in St. Croix County Circuit Court on Friday, April 11, for a preliminary hearing.

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