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A man who had five warrants for his arrest out of Kenosha led Mount Pleasant Police on a chase after he drove drunk.

Thomas Hartnell, 48, of Racine, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office with drunk driving (4th offense) and eluding a police officer. If convicted of both charges, Hartnell faces up to nine years six months in prison and/or fined up to $20,000.

According to the criminal complaint, a motorist flagged down a Mount Pleasant Police officer at 12:11 a.m. Thursday morning to report that two men were trying to get into a truck. The person told the officer that they were “falling over drunk” and the incident happened at the Speedway gas station.

Because the gas station is in Racine, the officer called into dispatch to request a Racine Police officer. The Mount Pleasant Police officer decided to check on the welfare of the two men. While at Speedway, the officer saw two men getting into a green Jeep Wrangler truck, which was pulling away. The officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on the speeding truck.

The officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on the speeding truck. But Hartnell, who was driving the car, refused to move over for another police officer who had pulled over another car involved in a separate incident. About a half mile away, the officer stopped the pursuit between Roosevelt Avenue and Ohio Street. Pulling off to the side of the road, the other officer stopped and asked if his colleague needed help.

Since Hartnell was stopped at a red light on Ohio Street, the two officers decided to pursue Hartnell together. Pulling up behind the truck with lights and sirens on, Hartnell again refused to stop for two more blocks. Once Hartnell did stop, he and the passenger in the truck refused to comply with their orders.

High-Risk Stop For Man Who Drove Drunk

Hartnell and the passenger “appeared extremely confused and uncooperative,” according to the complaint.

After checking with dispatch, the officers learned that Hartnell had five warrants for his arrest out of Kenosha. The officers took him to Ascension – All Saints Hospital for a blood draw and then to the Racine County Jail.

Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch set a $2,500 cash bond for Hartnell, who will have a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.