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Man charged with eighth OWI

A Hammond man was charged with his eighth drunken-driving offense after his vehicle drew the attention of a St. Croix County sheriff's deputy.

The deputy reported seeing an SUV stopped at 5:55 a.m. on a town of Hammond road that allegedly began driving once the officer approached it. The officer attempted a traffic stop and eventually arrested the driver, 47-year-old Jeffrey A. Cormican, on suspicion of operating while intoxicated.

St. Croix County prosecutors charged him Monday, March 20, with OWI-eighth offense, operating while revoked and resisting an officer. Judge Michael Waterman ordered Cormican to post $2,000 cash bail at a hearing later that day.

According to a criminal complaint:

As the deputy followed the vehicle, a check of the registered owner's driving information showed it registered to Cormican, a revoked driver with seven prior drunken-driving convictions.

The SUV eventually pulled into a County Road E driveway, so the deputy drove past and kept watch. The deputy circled back watched a man who was wearing the same ballcap as the driver head off on foot toward a field.

The man identified himself as Cormican and admitted to driving the SUV. Cormican began backing away from the deputy while being questioned about the sequence of events, prompting the officer to handcuff him.

The deputy, who described Cormican as smelling strongly of alcohol and having bloodshot eyes, looked into the SUV and found a 30-pack of beer inside and an open can of beer in the vehicle's center console.

Cormican was uncuffed and put through a series of field sobriety exercises before performing a breath test that revealed a 0.12 preliminary blood-alcohol level. The deputy attempted re-cuff Cormican when he dashed off into the field.

The deputy, joined by a sheriff's investigator, eventually caught up with him. He was cuffed again and arrested after a struggle.

"He told me that he didn't want to go back to prison and did not mean any harm by running from us," deputy Thomas Williams wrote in the complaint.

A review of Cormican's record revealed his most recent OWI conviction was in 2010, with the earliest from 1992.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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