High speed pursuit, resisting officers result in felony charges for Merrill man

By Merrill Foto News Staff

LINCOLN COUNTY – A 35-year old Merrill man who reportedly engaged in a vehicular pursuit with law enforcement officers and later resisted officers’ efforts to take him into custody now faces felony charges of first degree-recklessly endangering safety, fleeing and eluding an officer and a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer.

Joshua L. Thede

According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lincoln County District Attorney’s Office, on the evening of Sunday, Jan. 12, an officer of the Merrill Police Department was on patrol in the vicinity of West Main and Eugene Streets in the City of Merrill when the officer observed a vehicle operated by Joshua L. Thede traveling in excess of the posted speed limit and weaving in its lane of travel.

The officer reportedly activated the emergency lights of his patrol vehicle in an attempt to stop Thede’s vehicle. When the vehicle did not yield, the officer then activated the patrol vehicle’s audible siren, at which point Thede reportedly accelerated. The officer reportedly pursued Thede’s vehicle as Thede reportedly struck a mailbox, ignored two stop signs and reached speeds as high as 90 mph in a 25 mph speed zone, while crossing the centerline of the roadway several times.

Due to dangerous rate of speed Thede’s vehicle had reached and the vehicle crossing the centerline into oncoming traffic, the officer reportedly terminated the pursuit.

Another Merrill officer located Thede’s vehicle a short time later, as his vehicle was traveling at a much lower speed. However, when that officer attempted to stop the vehicle, Thede reportedly attempted to flee once again. The pursuit ultimately ended when Thede’s vehicle struck a snowbank.

According to the criminal complaint, Thede resisted officers’ efforts to take him into custody, behaving in a profane manner and refusing to comply. Upon contact with Thede, officers noted signs indicative of intoxication, including Thede bearing the odor of intoxicants about his person, displaying glassy eyes and slurred speech.

Thede made his initial appearance in Lincoln County Circuit Court on Tuesday, Jan. 14 and was released from custody after posting $500 cash bond. He is due back in court for a scheduling conference on Thursday, Feb. 13.

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