A Deer Park man faces a felony charge after he allegedly led a St. Croix County Sheriff’s deputy on a 14-mile chase earlier this month.
Alexander A. Ninke, 18, is facing a felony charge of attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer along with a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer stemming from an incident in the Town of Stanton in the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 15.
According to the criminal complaint, a deputy was headed west toward New Richmond on Highway 64 at about 3:30 a.m. when he saw a tan Buick parked behind a disabled vehicle the deputy had tagged earlier in his shift. After the deputy slowed down and pulled to the shoulder of the highway, the Buick turned on its headlights and quickly executed a U-turn and accelerated away to the east.
Concerned that the occupants may have broken into the disabled vehicle, the deputy decided to pull the vehicle over to investigate. The Buick, however, did not pull over, and continued east on Highway 64 at speeds faster than 100 mph and crossing the center line at times, according to the complaint.
As the Buick approached the roundabout where Highway 64 meets Highway 63 and Highway 46, the vehicle “aggressively turned left into the Holiday gas station” and sped at 30 to 40 mph through the parking lot near the gas pumps before heading north on Highway 46, according to the complaint.
The deputy followed the vehicle to Deer Park at speeds approaching 100 mph. The Buick then turned onto snow-covered gravel and dirt roads, and the deputy was forced to back off somewhat due to dust and flying debris kicked up by the vehicle, but he kept an eye on the tail lights, which led him to a home in the 2300 block of 250th Street, according to the complaint.
The deputy decided to wait in the driveway for other officers to arrive instead of confronting the residents alone, but at 3:51 a.m. two men exited the house and approached the deputy’s squad car.
One of the men told the deputy that he was the registered owner of the tan Buick, but said he did not know who was driving it because he was asleep inside the house at the time.
According to the complaint, once two other deputies arrived at the scene, they were given permission to enter the house to find out who the driver was. Alexander Ninke raised his hand.
As a deputy questioned him, Ninke allegedly said that he stopped behind the disabled vehicle because he thought it belonged to a friend of his, and he fled because he was scared of cops. Three other occupants of the vehicle confirmed that Ninke said he thought the disabled vehicle belonged to a friend and that is why he stopped.
Ninke is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in St. Croix County Circuit Court on March 16. In addition to the felony and misdemeanor charges, Ninke was also cited for alleged traffic violations of failure to stop at a stop sign, speeding and operating while suspended.