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Barron Co. Sheriff injured in pursuit of OWI suspect

Donnie Strand was arrested for operating while intoxicated, second offense and fleeing law...
Donnie Strand, 29, of Rice Lake was arrested for operating while intoxicated, second offense and fleeing law enforcement causing injury.(Barron Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 4:26 PM CDT
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TOWN OF STANLEY, Wis. (WEAU) - A member of law enforcement was injured in pursuit of a suspect Thursday evening near Rice Lake.

Barron Co. Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald suffered leg and arm injuries as a result of chasing the suspect on foot and was taken to Marshfield Medical Center, where he was later released, according to the Barron Co. Sheriff’s Dept.

Deputies from the sheriff’s department responded to a call about a black sedan swerving and traveling at a high speed at 8:28 p.m. on 19th Street near 16 1/2 Avenue in the Town of Stanley, between the Rice Lake Regional Airport and Rice Lake. The suspect, 29-year-old Donnie Strand of Rice Lake, fled in his vehicle after the deputies attempted to pull him over at the roundabout at 19th Street and County Highway O, hitting a curb in the roundabout near Highway 53.

Strand’s vehicle turned left onto Pioneer Avenue from County Highway O, with speeds reaching 75 miles per hour, according to the Barron Co. Sheriff’s Dept. A tire fell off of the sedan, which the sheriff’s dept. said was a result of hitting the curb in the roundabout. Strand turned onto Bracklin Street and then fled on foot, which is when Fitzgerald was injured.

The suspect traveled over five miles in the pursuit from the Town of Stanley to Rice Lake

A pair of Rice Lake Police Dept. officers caught up to Strand near Mastercraft Industries, just north of Pioneer Avenue and Bracklin Street, and arrested him for operating while intoxicated, second offense and fleeing law enforcement causing injury. Strand did not resist arrest, according to the officers who found him, which was over five miles from where the pursuit originated.

The sheriff’s dept. credits the Rice Lake Police Dept. and the Wisconsin State Patrol, as well as citizens in the area, for their assistance in the search and arrest.

Strand was booked into the Barron Co. Jail and is awaiting charges.

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