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Police: Two men jump into Fond du Lac River after stolen SUV chase

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Posted at 10:38 AM, Nov 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-30 11:38:51-05

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — Two young men are under arrest after police said they jumped in the river following a chase with a stolen SUV.

According to Fond du Lac Police, officers were on alert for a reported stolen 2023 Land Rover Defender vehicle from Menasha that also was allegedly involved in other crimes in that area.

Fond du Lac Police said the stolen vehicle was last seen southbound on Interstate 41 in Winnebago County, as it had been involved in a vehicle pursuit and eluded law enforcement officers in that area.

An officer spotted the SUV and tried to pull it over in the area of Interstate 41 and South Military Road. When the officer activated the patrol car's emergency lights, police said the SUV drove off and the officer drove after it. Police said the vehicle chase reached speeds of about 90 m.p.h. traveling into Fond du Lac.

Police said the stolen SUV struck an occupied vehicle at the intersection of Western Avenue and South Military Road. The occupants of the struck vehicle were unharmed. The SUV then stopped in the 100 block of Western Avenue and both people in the vehicle got out and ran off.

Authorities used a drone and K9 to search for the suspects. According to police, both suspects from the stolen vehicle at one point went into the East Branch of the Fond du Lac River in an attempt to get away from law enforcement officers before being taken into custody.

The driver, a 19-year-old Eau Claire man, was arrested by the Fond du Lac Police Department and is held at the Fond du Lac County Jail on charges of operating motor vehicle without owner’s consent, eluding an officer, resisting an officer, and a Wisconsin Department of Corrections probation hold.

The passenger, a 25-year-old Neenah man, was arrested by the Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Office and is held at the Fond du Lac County Jail on charges of resisting an officer, possession of a schedule 2 narcotic (prescription), possession of an illegally obtained prescription and a Wisconsin Department of Corrections probation hold.

One of the suspects was taken to a local hospital due to his cold-water exposure from jumping in the Fond du Lac River.

The initial motor vehicle theft and other crimes are under active investigation by the Menasha Police Department.