MUST SEE: Witnesses describe commotion of stolen skid steer pursuit in their neighborhood
OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A 37-year-old Appleton man faces charges for his 4th OWI and multiple other offenses after a low-speed chase in a stolen skid steer.
The man, now identified as Tyler Peschke, was taken into custody in Grand Chute and turned over to police in Appleton. The police department is holding him on suspicion of OWI 4th offense, operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, felony eluding, misdemeanor resisting, misdemeanor criminal damage to property, and warrants.
At about 7:30 Thursday morning, Grand Chute police were called to help Appleton police with the chase which started in the city.
The skid steer entered Grand Chute from Capitol Drive and headed north on Gillett Street. The operator then went west on Evergreen Drive before turning north on some railroad tracks.
Article continues below the video
The skid steer continued north on the tracks before going into a field behind some homes in the 4900 block of Gillett Street. That’s where police were able to take the man into custody.
“The Grand Chute Police Department would like to thank the Grand Chute Fire Department, the Grand Chute Department of Public Works, the Appleton Police Department, the Outagamie County Sheriff’s Office, the Wisconsin State Patrol, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and Canadian National Railroad for their assistance. All agencies involved worked together seamlessly to protect the property and lives of our community and bring a safe conclusion to this morning’s incident,” says Grand Chute Community Resource Officer Travis Waas.
Neighbors say they are baffled by the commotion. They told us first they thought it was a city worker making the rounds, but when it came around again they grew suspicious.
“At 7:30 I saw a skid steer driving down the street, and it was coming from Mason down Edmund, and I kind of did a double take because it was kind of unusual,” Jan Berg said.
“I had to wake up my nephew. Get up! Get up! You gotta see this!” Al Cascarano said.
“He was driving around the neighborhood here for probably a half hour,” Brian Walburn said.
People tell us they started running from window to window to get a better view as the skid steer make its way down their streets -- and eventually through their yards, leaving prominent tracks.
“I stood at the front window and all of a sudden police started driving down this way, that way, and I was like what is going on? I mean, we are talking a half dozen of them,” Cascarano said.
Viewer Sue Walbrun captured part of the wild morning on video and shared it with Action 2 News. Article continues below the video
“I’m guessing it was probably a full tank of gas and they’re not going to stop him until he gets stuck or runs out of gas,” Walburn said.
One witness told us the commotion made him late dropping off their kids at school.
”I rolled down my window to talk to one officer and I said, ‘I just saw him drive by my house,’ and he said yeah he’s loose right now. You can get out but you might not be able to get back in,” Cascarano said.
Another witness said the driver looked calm while driving and weaved through trees and around houses. At this time there are no reports of damage other than the tracks on lawns.
“The guy, at least not while he was driving through the neighborhood or the park, didn’t hit any trees or any equipment or anything as far as I could see. So he was driving reckless and careful at the same time,” Walbrun said.
Police haven’t said what Peschke’s motive was for taking the skid steer for a ride. Before announcing the charges they did tell Action 2 News he was taken to a hospital for “impairment.”
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