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Driver charged with 7th OWI after New Richmond incident

Wade M. Davis

A man with six prior OWI convictions was arrested at gunpoint last week after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase through New Richmond.

The driver, Chetek resident Wade M. Davis, was later charged in St. Croix County Circuit Court with his seventh drunken-driving offense, hit and run, attempting to flee an officer and second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

He was being held on $3,500 cash bail after his initial appearance July 25.

According to a criminal complaint:

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies took a report at 5:22 p.m. July 24 of a confrontation at the BP fuel station at the Four Corners area east of New Richmond. The complainant reported confronting the motorist there after witnessing him speeding along Highway 64. The complainant said he smelled alcohol on the suspect and told him he was drunk, prompting the suspect to take off in the maroon Buick sedan he'd been driving.

Another driver also called in multiple driving violations by the Buick driver in that area.

A deputy found the Buick and watched it turn into New Richmond, where it drove through the Ford dealership on Noble Road.

New Richmond police caught up with the car, which was speeding eastbound on Highway 64 and being pursued by an SUV that officers later learned had been sideswiped by the Buick.

The New Richmond officer reported seeing the Buick passing in a no-passing zone; the officer's squad reached 100 mph in an effort to catch up with it.

The officer followed the Buick past a farmers market on Hospital Road, where it sped through the area before stopping in the Westfields Hospital & Clinic parking lot.

The driver, later identified as Davis, was seen reaching for something in the car's center console, prompting the officer to arrest him at gunpoint.

After performing field-sobriety exercises, Davis was given a preliminary breath test, which revealed a 0.13 blood-alcohol level. Wisconsin's legal limit for driving is 0.08.

Davis later told police he was making his way from Stillwater to Chetek. His prior OWI convictions range from 2000 to 2014.

He's set for an Aug. 21 arraignment.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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