JANESVILLE — A Fort Atkinson man was charged Friday after reportedly leading a Rock County sheriff’s deputy on a high-speed chase the night before in the Town of Lima.
Philip Luebke III, 33, of 8726 East County Line Road, Fort Atkinson, was charged in Rock County Circuit Court with one count each of attempting to flee or elude an officer and second-degree recklessly endangering safety related to an incident that took place shortly before midnight Thursday.
Conviction of the first count, a Class I felony, carries a maximum sentence of $10,000 fine and three years and six months in prison, along with a six-month revocation of his driving privileges. The second count, a Class G felony, carries a maximum sentence of $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison.
Luebke was released on a $3,500 signature bond. He was ordered to not consume any alcohol or operate a motor vehicle during pendency of the case.
The Rock County Sheriff’s Office reported that at 11:20 p.m. Thursday, deputies were dispatched to a residence in the 7000 block of East LJ Townline Road in the Town of Lima for a report of an intoxicated male who was knocking on the door and asking the resident if she knew where his house was. The homeowner stated that the man drove his truck across her yard up close to her house, then got out of the vehicle and went up to her front door. After speaking with her for several minutes, he got back into his truck and drove through the yard and back onto the road, according to the criminal complaint.
Nearing the caller’s house, a responding deputy saw a black truck, a 2014 GMC Sierra, parked on the east side of North Vickerman Road, just north of East LJ Townline Road. The complaint states that the deputy observed it was occupied by a white male with a short beard whose physical description matched that of the caller.
Later identified as Luebke, the man “was passed out and slumped over toward the center console with the truck doors locked,” the complaint states. After pounding on the window for several minutes, the deputy was able to get Luebke to wake up. Luebke then started his truck and drove off northbound at a high rate of speed.
The deputy activated his squad car’s emergency lights and siren and followed in pursuit. The complaint states that the defendant drove north on North Vickerman Road and then turned west into a cornfield, driving several-hundred yards before getting back onto the road and turning east on East LJ Townlike Road at speeds of approximately 100 mph.
“The truck then went into the ditch year the corner of East LJ Townline Road and Emerald Grove Road before continuing eastbound,” the complaint states. It notes that the truck abruptly braked hard and stopped in the middle of the road. The deputy had to brake very hard and drive onto the shoulder to avoid colliding with the rear of the truck.
“The defendant then abruptly began backing up on the roadway,” according to the complaint, which added that the deputy “had to rapidly back up in reverse to avoid a collision.”
The complaint reports that the truck turned around and headed west on East LJ Townline Road before turning south on Emerald Grove Road and eventually stopping at its intersection with East Six Corners Road.
“The defendant then threw his keys out the window and got out of the vehicle. After being ordered to the ground, the defendant then rolled over and said, ‘Shoot me if you want to,’” the complaint states.
The man reportedly got up and started walking toward the deputy before eventually stopping and leaning against his truck.
“By this point, other officers had arrived and the defendant was physically combative with them as they attempted to take him into custody,” the complaint states. “Three Taser applications were required before the defendant was compliant with being handcuffed.”
An initial press release had indicated that the approximately five-minute pursuit reached speeds as fast as 105 mph and at one point, the truck struck a fire number address sign.
Luebke was transported to the Rock County Jail, where he performed Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The deputy found probable cause to arrest Luebke for first-offense operating while intoxicated. Luebke refused to submit to a chemical test of his blood after his arrest.
Luebke was charged with felony fleeing an officer and resisting arrest and was booked into the Rock County Jail. It appears that he was not formally charged with drunken driving in court.
The Wisconsin State Patrol was called to investigate the traffic crash involving Luebke striking the fire number address sign. No injuries or other property damage were reported from this incident.