Juvenile arrested after 24-hour search in Northwoods
For the Star Journal
A 15-year old boy is in Forest County custody following a 24-hour incident that took place in three counties and involved a high speed chase and a ground search.
According to law enforcement, the youth stole a vehicle the early afternoon on Sept. 30 and fled a traffic stop north of Antigo , traveling north on US 45 toward US 8. In a news release, Oneida County Captain Tyler Young said the driver reached speeds of over 110 mph while traveling west on US 8; he then turned north on WIS 17 through the construction zone toward Eagle River.
The suspect was able to evade a tire deflation device, then turned west onto WIS 70. Near the intersection with Sunny lane, an Oneida County deputy was able to stop the vehicle. The suspect then fled on foot into a wooded area.
SWAT teams from Oneida and Vilas counties searched the woods along with law enforcement officers from other agencies. The search was put on hold, with a plan to set a perimeter with deputies who were patrolling the roads near the incident as well as deputies walking on foot in the area.
At 9:48 p.m., Vilas County Chief Deputy Patrick Schmidt reported, a deputy tried to stop a UTV on WIS 70; a pursuit ensued. Deputies stated they observed a “bag full of firearms and a bag full of ammunition laying next to the UTV. There was also an empty handgun holster.” The UTV ended up crashing into the shoreline of a lake, and the youth took off on foot once again.
While searching the woods at that time, the youth fired one round.
“A drone team from Oneida County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene once again. The search area was much smaller than the previous search area, but it was still a vast forest area. At approximately 10:45 pm the drone was able to locate the individual. The individual began firing multiple rounds at the drone. The drone was able to see that the individual did possess a long gun and multiple handguns,” according to Schmidt’s `news release.
The search was put on hold after a seven hour search.
At 7 a.m. Oct. 1, a burglary was discovered by a Vilas County Deputy canvassing the area. This burglary allegedly included the UTV and the firearms in the suspect’s possession.
At 3 p.m., a cabin owner that had learned about the incident via social media updates decided to check on his cabin. Upon arrival, the cabin owner discovered someone had forced entry to it, immediately backed out and contacted the Vilas County Sheriff’s office.
The new release from Vilas County states, “Deputies immediately responded to the cabin and located the individual inside. Located on his person was a 9mm handgun, loaded. Another 9 mm handgun was located on a coffee table next to his head and a .223 cal rifle was located directly under where he was sleeping. The individual did not resist arrest.”
The boy was taken to the hospital for medical clearance. Forest County eventually took custody of the juvenile.
Schmidt said the successful outcome was due to the efforts of law enforcement from Oneida County and Lincoln County, the state patrol. Eagle River Police Department, Lac du Flambeau Tribal Police, Woodruff and Minocqua police departments, Wisconsin DNR and a number of citizens.