EC man arrested for ramming squad car, OWI

·2 min read

Sep. 22—CHIPPEWA FALLS — An Eau Claire man has been arrested after he reportedly backed his vehicle into a Lake Hallie squad car on Wednesday, then led police on a chase while driving drunk, according to Lake Hallie Police Chief Edward Orgon.

James A. Tyler, 53, is facing possible charges of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, fleeing or eluding police-damage to property, two counts of criminal damage to property, OWI-fourth offense, criminal trespass to a dwelling and battery or threats to a law enforcement officer.

"Tyler voluntarily submitted to field sobriety testing and submitted to a preliminary breath test which yielded a result of .189 and was transported to the hospital for a legal blood draw," Orgon stated in a press release Thursday morning.

Tyler was then taken to the Chippewa County Jail.

The incident began when Lake Hallie officers received a call at 6:03 p.m. Wednesday, saying a person had entered their residence in the 2000 block of Highway OO. The residents there didn't know him. He left the residence and sat in a dark blue Chevrolet Impala in the driveway, but hadn't left before police arrived. When the officer exited his squad car, Tyler backed his Impala into the squad car, hitting the drivers' side front guard, as well as a small fence.

"The officer drew his weapon and began yelling at Tyler to shut the car off as well as hitting the rear passenger window to get Tyler's attention," Orgon stated. "Tyler drove forward and stopped before he backed up a second time, backing into a residence. The officer continued to yell at Tyler as he accelerated and drove towards the officer. The vehicle struck a dumpster, causing it to roll uncontrollably, then the vehicle rammed the Lake Hallie Patrol vehicle a second time, causing extensive damage to the rear passenger side. Tyler continued to drive and struck another fence and then turned eastbound onto County Highway OO."

As the vehicle turned onto Highway OO, other Lake Hallie police officers pursued the vehicle a short distance before the vehicle stopped in the 2400 block of Highway OO. A few minutes later, officers placed Tyler under arrest.

Online court records show Tyler was convicted of his third drunken-driving offense in 2007 and was ordered to serve 55 days in jail and his driver's license was revoked for two years. In recent years, he also has been convicted of disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property, and retail theft in separate incidents.