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A Milwaukee man faces charges after he crashed into a car on I-94, then left the scene and hid the car in a ditch. When law enforcement found the man’s car, they found a loaded 12-gauge inside it, according to officials with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

Austin D Pemberton, 40,  was arrested Saturday for drunken diving (2nd offense), possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of methamphetamines and possession of drug paraphernalia. Charges have been submitted to the Racine County District Attorney’s Office, but not officially issued.

Deputies with the Racine County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a reckless driver on Interstate 94 traveling at a high rate of speed without its headlights on. Driving a late model Kia Sol, Pemberton crashed the car into the back of another car traveling northb0und. The crash caused property damage and he left the scene.

Witnesses reported to dispatchers that Pemberton was traveling into a neighboring community in Milwaukee County. He was described as “being mentally unstable” and might be armed with a long rifle. As deputies searched the area, a car pulled into an empty parking lot of a business. The passengers told police they were looking for someone who had been involved in a crash.

Just then, the deputy noticed a cellphone light coming from a nearby home and they found Pemberton. He appeared to have been under the influence of drugs. He told deputies that his car was in a ditch south of County Trunk Highway G “occupied by two armed males,” according to the press release.

After shutting down the Interstate for safety reason, deputies found the car in some tall weeds. No one else was inside the car. But they did find a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and drug paraphernalia.

Multiple other charges and active warrants for theft in Wauwatosa, Greendale and West Allis.

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.