UPDATE: One Dead After High-Speed Chases

UPDATED Friday, April 8, 2011 --- 3:10 p.m.

From the Dane County Sheriff's Department:
No Criminal Liability for Deputy in Pursuit Fatality

Madison, WI. April 8, 2011 – A Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy that was involved in the Monday, April 4th vehicle pursuit of Wayne O. Stevens, Jr. has been cleared of any criminal liability by the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.

The high-speed pursuit, which lasted less than one minute, was called off just before Stevens crashed a stolen Dodge Caliber in the 300 block of Midvale Boulevard. Stevens lost control of the vehicle while traveling at speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour. He struck a tree and was ejected from the vehicle. Stevens, age 20, was pronounced dead at the scene. In the debris of the crash, officers found 10 different shotguns, rifles and handguns, several of which had been reported stolen.

Deputy James Nisius, age 42, was the lead deputy in the pursuit, which also involved Madison Police Officers and one other Sheriff’s deputy. Deputy Nisius is an experienced patrol deputy who has been with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office for over 16 years. Per the Dane County Sheriff’s Office Critical Incident policy, Deputy Nisius was temporarily placed on administrative leave following the crash.

The crash remains under investigation by the Madison Police Department and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.

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UPDATED: Thursday, April 7, 2011 --- 3:36p.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

Mr. Alex M. Cook, age 19, no permanent address, has been arrested in Scott County, Iowa.

He was taken into custody on a probation warrant, and booked into the Scott County jail early this morning.

Mr. Cook is the suspect Madison Police had been seeking reference the stolen truck case [listed below].

Scott County law enforcement also arrested Jacob G. Arndt, age 27, Madison.

Mr. Cook and Mr. Arndt were both found near a Honda Civic which was stolen last night from the Town of Christiana in Dane County.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Department is handling that stolen auto case. The MPD, the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, and the Verona Police Department continue to work in concert with other law enforcement agencies investigating a number of crimes for which Mr. Cook is a person of interest.

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UPDATED Thursday, April 7, 2011 --- 11:20 a.m.

From the Madison Police Department:

Alex Cook has been apprehended in Scott County, Iowa. Cook is the suspect who was being sought reference this week’s stolen truck case at Copps.

The Madison Police Department, the Dane County Sheriff’s Department, and the Verona Police Department continue to work in concert regarding possible crimes committed by this suspect.

He was taken into custody on a probation and parole warrant.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 --- 3:53p.m.

Alex M. Cook, age 19, no permanent address is believed to be the person captured in the surveillance photo at Copps. That is the case where the suspect runs through Copps ordering everyone to get down.

The Madison Police Department and the Verona Police Department are actively seeking Mr. Cook.

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UPDATED: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 --- 7:15 a.m.

The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office is releasing the name of the driver involved in the fatal crash on 04-04-11. The crash happened in the 300 block of Midvale Boulevard in the City of Madison. The decedent is identified as:

Wayne O. STEVENS JR.
20
Town of Dunn

A complete forensic autopsy was completed on 04-05-11 at the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office. The autopsy confirmed that Mr. Stevens died due to the injuries he sustained in the crash.

This case remains under investigation by the City of Madison Police Department and the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

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UPDATED Monday, April 4, 2011 ---- 4:40 p.m.

From the Dane County Sheriff's Department:
Stolen Vehicles Lead to Pursuit and Fatal Crash

Madison, WI. April 4, 2011 – At approximately 10:40 am today, law enforcement was notified through the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office that two vehicles were racing toward Dane County on Highway 18/151 at a high rate of speed.

A short time later, Verona Police spotted the two vehicles in Verona and attempted to stop them. Verona Police initiated a pursuit, but terminated the pursuit for safety reasons. One of the vehicles then crashes on Maple Grove Road in the City of Madison, while the second vehicle continues on. A Dane County Sheriff’s Deputy spots the second vehicle on Verona Road and learns that the car was reported stolen from Richland County. The deputy along with Madison Police attempt to stop the vehicle, but when the driver refuses to stop, a pursuit is initiated at Midvale Blvd. and Tokay Blvd. The pursuit was brief and was called off as the suspect approached a hill on Mineral Point Road. The suspect continued at a high rate of speed and subsequently lost control of the vehicle and struck a tree near the intersection of Midvale Blvd. and Mineral Point Road. The 20-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. Following the crash, deputies and officers recovered nine firearms from the vehicle. This crash is being investigated by the Madison Police Department.

The suspect that crashed his vehicle on Maple Grove Road in the City of Madison, fled on foot and then stole another vehicle from the parking lot of the Copps store on McKee Road at about 10:55 am. He abandoned that vehicle just off Muirfield Road. It is believed the man then fled on foot again, and law enforcement continues to look for him. The first vehicle that he crashed on Maple Grove Road had been reported stolen from Crawford County. The suspect’s image was caught on a store surveillance camera as he ran through the Pick-N-Save yelling for everyone to get down. He may be armed and anyone that has information on his whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately.

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is also investigating whether these men may be connected to the report of a stolen vehicle over night from the town of Dunn. That vehicle was recovered today in Crawford County.

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UPDATED: Monday, April 4, 2011 --- 4:00 p.m.

Today authorities are investigating two crashes after two separate high-speed chases in Madison, one ending in a driver's death. Police are still sorting out the details, but the crashes appear to be related to a string of stolen vehicles spanning multiple counties.

This investigation began in Crawford County. The Sheriff's Department was notified of two stolen vehicles in the Village of Bell Center. Stolen was a 2007 Buick Rendezvous and a 1996 Buick Park Avenue. As deputies investigated the scenes, they found a 2003 Chevy Silverado Truck that had been stolen from Oregon, Wisconsin.

At this time, investigators were also told another vehicle was stolen from Richland County.

At 10:00 a.m., a person reported their 2006 Kia Rio stolen from Wauzeka Township. While responding to this scene, the 1996 Buick [stolen from Bell Center] was found just a short distance where the Rio was stolen.

Dispatch was then notified by Dane County that deputies were in pursuit of the Kia Rio, along with the vehicle that was stolen from Richland County.

The driver of the Rio crashed near the Copps grocery store parking lot off McKee Road. Madison police say he then ran through Coops, yelling for everyone to get down. To see the surveillance photo from this scene, click on the PHOTOS tab above. The suspect then stole a truck from the parking lot. That stolen truck was located a short time later, parked just off of Muirfield Road. The suspect should be considered dangerous, and possibly armed. Anyone seeing him should call 911 immediately.

The Richland County vehicle was wrecked in Madison. The driver crashed the stolen car into a tree along Midvale Boulevard. The suspect died in the crash.

Dane County officials, along with the Madison Police Department, are conducting their investigation.

The identities of the drivers are not being released at this time.

The Rendezvous [that was stolen in Bell Center in Crawford County] was found parked in Reedstown in Vernon County at approx 3:15 this afternoon.


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