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A Minnesota man who claimed he was just trying to get home is facing close to 50 years in prison after police say he led them on a high-speed chase on I-94.

Leonardo Garcia was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of attempting to flee an officer and three felony counts of second degree of recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, he faces up to 43-1/2 years in prison and/or up to $85,000 in fines.

The High-Speed Chase

According to the criminal complaint, deputies on April 29 from the Racine County Sheriff’s Office attempted near the Highway 11 exit to initiate a traffic stop with the driver of a vehicle who was speeding on the northbound lanes of I-94. The driver, later identified as Garcia, increased his speed to 100 mph and swerved across lanes, nearly hitting several other cars. The chase was terminated after almost six miles.

Oak Creek police arrested Garcia and three individuals who were in the car when they located the car, the complaint continues. One of the occupants admitted they were in a high-speed chase and needed a new tire to replace one that blew out during the pursuit. Each passenger said they begged Garcia to stop, and they were afraid Garcia would crash the car.

Police say that when they interviewed Garcia, he said he didn’t understand why deputies were trying to pull him over, and he sped up because he was only trying to get home. He admitted exiting the interstate to find a tire to replace the one damaged by stop strips utilized by deputies and said he considered running because “no cop can catch him.”

Garcia was assigned a $1,000 cash bond and will next be in court May 11 for his preliminary hearing.

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