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Stolen vehicle leads state patrol on high speed chase

A 20-year-old Boyceville man is facing charges of felony eluding and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent after allegedly leading law enforcement officers on a high speed chase through eastern St. Croix County early Wednesday morning.

Austin G. Szewcik allegedly fled a Wisconsin State Trooper who tried to pull him over at about 3:10 a.m. on I-94 near the Dunn/St. Croix County line for equipment violations, including an out headlamp and loud exhaust.

According to Sergeant Steven Tape of the Wisconsin State Patrol Northwest Region Eau Claire Post, Szewcik was allegedly driving a stolen white Dodge Neon while heading west on I-94 in the Town of Cady. At points during the chase, speeds reached up to 110 mph, according to a press release from the state patrol.

The vehicle exited the interstate at Woodville, and headed southbound on County Road B with the state patrol vehicle in pursuit, Tape said. According to Tape, officers reported the vehicle as sometimes driving on the wrong side of the road. At one point, the headlights were extinguished while on County Road B. A unit from St. Croix County joined the pursuit not long after the initial dispatch call, Tape said.

The chase continued westbound on County Road N through the Town of Eau Galle, southbound on Hwy. 63, west on Fifth Avenue and north on County Road Y through a couple of sets of S-curves, Tape said.

When the Neon turned to head west on County Road N, this time in the Town of Rush River, St. Croix County deputies used a tire deflation device to stop the vehicle, Tape said. The Neon pulled over and Szewcik was arrested without incident. According to Tape, the only damage sustained to the vehicle was the deflated tire.

Szewcik allegedly admitted to taking the vehicle from the driveway of a home in the Town of Wilson in Dunn County, Tape said. The keys were allegedly left in the vehicle, which Szewcik allegedly put into neutral and rolled down the driveway before starting. Tape said the owner was unaware the vehicle was missing until law enforcement called at 3:38 a.m. to verify ownership.

Szewcik also has a bench warrant from Eau Claire County, and was turned over to the Dunn County Jail. Dunn County was where the initial violation occurred, Tape said.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in Febraury 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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