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Fugitive Wis. cop captured day after pursuit

Waupun Police Officer Bradley Young was arrested one day after he led police on a high-speed chase

By Julian Emerson
The Leader-Telegram

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — Bradley Young's knowledge of how law enforcement members track down suspects, gained during his 22 years as a Waupun police officer, wasn't enough to avoid being apprehended himself.

Authorities arrested Young, 43, in Burnett County at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, one day after he led police on a high-speed chase through Barron County.

Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said friends and family contacted the state Division of Criminal Investigation about a possible residence where Young could be found.

As police made the approach to the residence — including Burnett, Barron, Washburn and Douglas County SWAT teams — Young contacted the police to confirm his location. Young was found sitting outside the residence and complied with officers while being taken into custody.

"He made a call to the 911 Burnett County Sheriff's Department to confirm where he was," Fitzgerald said.

Exact details on how Young was located were not available Tuesday night.

Helping with the case were law enforcement officers from Barron, Burnett, Douglas and Washburn counties and the State Patrol, the DCI and the state Department of Natural Resources.

Young was in the Burnett County Jail Tuesday night, Fitzgerald said, and faces charges related to a string of burglaries that include stealing two vehicles.

Authorities had sought Young since Monday, when police say he stole a vehicle and committed a burglary in Green Lake County and then headed northwest.

Young is suspected of breaking into the Walker's-Kollerville restaurant in Green Lake at about 1 a.m. Monday. A detection system alerted the owners, who called the Green Lake sheriff's office.

A responding deputy spotted the suspect believed to be Young, dressed in camouflage leaving the restaurant and chased him into a cornfield, where Young escaped, according to Green Lake sheriff's office officials.

Authorities found a vehicle, believed to be Young's, near the restaurant.

Barron County chase
Barron County authorities were notified late Monday afternoon that Young was believed to be headed to the county in a stolen red pickup truck.

Barron County deputies spotted the truck and attempted to pull Young over, but he led them on a chase that ended with Young crashing the truck into trees and fleeing on foot into a nearby woods about five miles northwest of Rice Lake. Authorities believed Young was armed and dangerous.

Barron County deputies and officers from other jurisdictions, including Eau Claire County, were involved in the search but were unable to locate Young. Fitzgerald said the search was challenging, given the dense woods, hilly terrain and nighttime conditions.
"It was an extremely dangerous situation for the deputies involved in that search," Fitzgerald said. "How do you find this guy, who we believe was armed, in the woods in the dark?"

Four Eau Claire County sheriff's officers were involved in Monday's search. County Sheriff Ron Cramer said locating Young in those conditions was like "finding a needle in a haystack."

Fitzgerald said Young stole a second vehicle, a 1996 white four-door Nissan Maxima, from a farm near Rice Lake and evaded authorities for most of Tuesday before he was caught. Fitzgerald said before arresting Young the second stolen vehicle was found in the area.

'Huge shock'
Waupun Deputy Chief Scott Louden has worked closely with Young and said his colleague was promoted to lieutenant eight years ago. Louden described Young as "a real professional" who was committed to his job.

"He came to work and took his job seriously," Louden said of Young. "He worked hard and he wore his badge proudly."

Louden said he and others who worked with Young had absolutely no inkling he was about to go on a crime spree.

"This is a huge shock," Louden said, noting Young finished working his most recent shift at 2 a.m. Sunday. "There were absolutely no signs whatsoever this was coming. It's really hard for all of us to believe it."

Copyright 2013 the Leader-Telegram

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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