/ Articles / Minocqua man facing OWI, other charges after alleged chase

Minocqua man facing OWI, other charges after alleged chase

April 17, 2020 by Jamie Taylor

A 36-year-old Minocqua man is facing several criminal charges after he allegedly tried to elude Minocqua police early Sunday morning in an attempt to avoid a fifth charge of operating while intoxicated.

Eric S. Negri made his initial appearance in Oneida County Circuit Court on Monday afternoon on charges of OWI 5th or 6th offense, attempting to flee or elude an officer, possession of narcotic drugs, misdemeanor bail jumping and possessing an illegally obtained prescription. Seven traffic citations were also filed.

According to police reports attached to the criminal complaint, two members of the Minocqua Police Department observed a vehicle heading northbound on Highway 51 at about 3:10 a.m. Sunday without its headlights on. Once the officers caught up to the vehicle, a traffic stop was initiated near Huber Lane. However, instead of stopping, the vehicle allegedly drove behind several buildings and accelerated, according to police reports.

The vehicle then reentered Highway 51 “without regard for any possible traffic on the roadway.” It then allegedly accelerated “at a high rate of speed” and was swerving as it approached the intersection of U.S. Highway 51 and 70W, the reports state. The traffic signal arrow for a left turn onto 70W was red, but the vehicle continued to attempt to make a left turn onto 70W. The driver, later identified as Negri, lost control of the vehicle, jumped the curb, proceeded into the ditch before crashing into a tree.

After being handcuffed, a search of Negri turned up a clear plastic bag containing what tests later showed to be cocaine. A prescription pill that was identified as amphetamine and dextroamphetamine were also found on Negri’s person, according to the police report.

When asked why he did not stop for the officers, the police report quotes Negri as saying “I have four DUI’s. I didn’t want a fifth, man.” 

When taken to Howard Young Medical Center for medical clearance, Negri declined to allow a blood draw for intoxication. A warrant was obtained and the sample was taken and prepared to be shipped to the state crime lab. After Negri was medically cleared, he was transported to the Oneida County jail where he was booked.

At Monday’s hearing, Negri was represented by Maggie Hogan. The state was represented by assistant district attorney Mary Sowinski. Sowinski asked Oneida County Circuit Judge Michael Bloom for a $10,000 cash bond, due to the defendant’s four previous OWI charges. Hogan argued for a lower amount on the grounds that $10,000 was excessive.

Bloom set a $3,500 cash bond and scheduled the preliminary hearing for March 25.

Jamie Taylor may be reached via email at [email protected]

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