Man gets prison for high-speed pursuits, school burglary

·3 min read

Jan. 12—EAU CLAIRE — A Mason man who led authorities on two high-speed pursuits, burglarized a school and is accused of attempting to arrange the kidnapping of a child will spend five years in prison.

Austin M.T. Hurst, 26, pleaded no contest recently in Eau Claire County Court to six felonies: two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and one count each of attempting to elude an officer, possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, armed burglary and bail jumping.

A felony count of solicitation of kidnapping was dismissed but considered at sentencing.

Judge Michael Schumacher ordered Hurst to spend five years on extended supervision following his release from prison.

Hurst was fined $3,205. As conditions of supervision, Hurst must undergo any recommended programming or treatment.

According to the criminal complaint in the first high-speed pursuit:

An Eau Claire County sheriff's deputy spotted a vehicle with expired plates driving through Altoona at 7:50 p.m. Feb. 6, 2020, and followed it east out of the city on U.S. 12.

The deputy activated his emergency lights when the vehicle started to drive erratically.

The vehicle, which was driven by Hurst, did not stop and led authorities on a high-speed chase that went through Fall Creek at speeds of 80 to 90 mph.

Hurst fled on foot after a tire deflating device was used to stop his vehicle near Highway D. He was found in a farm building on Highway D.

According to the criminal complaint in the second high-speed pursuit:

An Augusta police officer noticed a vehicle with a defective muffler driving through the city on Oct. 18, 2020.

The officer activated his emergency lights to attempt a traffic stop.

The vehicle, which was driven by Hurst, led the officer on a high-speed pursuit that reached speeds of 80 miles per hour on Highway AF and Highway V.

The pursuit was terminated after Hurst nearly struck other vehicles on the highways.

According to the criminal complaint in the burglary case:

A school in Fairchild was burglarized on Aug. 4, 2020. Video footage shows Hurst entering the gym armed with a compound bow.

Several items were stolen in the burglary including a defibrillator, compound bow, garbage bags, extension cords and gloves.

Entry was gained by smashing a window.

According to the criminal complaint in the attempted kidnapping case:

Members of the 2-year-old child's family contacted Fairchild police in early 2020 to report the kidnapping threat.

Hurst demanded a man return his phone or Hurst would post nude and sexual pictures online of three people, and arrange to have his uncle kidnap the child.

The man received a message from the uncle who said he wouldn't kidnap the child.

The man told the uncle that he had picked up a rifle and scope. He also bought a handgun from a Chippewa County man.

The man also sent a message to Hurst saying, "You go near my daughters and I'll end you."

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