Man flees from police, drives toward squads

An initial appearance is scheduled to resume Sept. 24 for an Illinois man charged with fleeing from police and nearly striking two squad cars in the Town of Lyons.

Kurt E. Walther, 69, of Prophetstown, Illinois, was charged Sept. 2 in Walworth County Circuit Court with two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety; operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, fourth offense; attempting to flee or elude an officer; and hit-and-run of an attended vehicle.

According to the criminal complaint, a blue Hyundai hit another vehicle in the Town of Lyons on Aug. 18 and then fled on Highway 50 toward Highway 12. The caller followed the car, and a deputy located the Hyundai traveling 97 mph and initiated a traffic stop, according to the complaint.

The car made a U-turn before Maclean Road and drove toward the squad car, came within five feet of the squad and caused the deputy to leave the roadway and drive onto the shoulder, according to the complaint.

The pursuit continued east on Highway NN at more than 100 mph before the car turned around and headed west on County NN, the complaint states. When the lead pursuing squad car reached the area of Highway NN and Weaver Road, the deputy no longer saw taillights and observed the car in the ditch where it stopped, according to the complaint.

As deputies prepared to conduct a high-risk traffic stop, the vehicle turned around and headed west on Weaver Road and accelerated toward the squad car, missing it by less than six inches, according to the complaint. Stop sticks were deployed near the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, the car’s speed decreased after hitting the stop sticks, and, ultimately Walther, the driver, was taken into custody, the complaint states.

Walther smelled like alcohol, said he didn’t know why he didn’t stop, was very disoriented and had slow, slurred speech, according to the complaint. Field sobriety tests were initiated but not completed because Walther had difficulty walking and standing, the complaint states. He registered .17 on a preliminary breath test.

The distance of the pursuit was 7.2 miles, and the top speed was 110 mph, according to the complaint.


One Comment

  1. I do hope the judge in the case deploys the stop sticks on this guy as well. Dangerous man.