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Fitchburg man facing 12 felonies after threatening to burn down house, high-speed chase through Juneau County
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Fitchburg man facing 12 felonies after threatening to burn down house, high-speed chase through Juneau County

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A Fitchburg man is charged with 12 felonies after he allegedly violated a no contact order and threatened to burn down a house before leading deputies from Adams and Juneau Counties on a high-speed chase.

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Christopher Duff, 47, of Fitchburg is charged with felony second degree recklessly endangering safety, repeater; felony attempting to flee or elude an officer, repeater; 10 counts of felony bail jumping, repeater; and misdemeanor resisting an officer, repeater.

If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for the recklessly endangering safety charge; up to three years and six months in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for the flee or eluding an officer charge; and up to six years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or both, for each of the 10 felony bail jumping charges.

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As Duff has a previous conviction for two counts of misdemeanor criminal damage to property and one count of battery with a domestic abuse modifier within a five-year period prior to this arrest, he faces up to an additional two years in prison due to the repeater modification.

According to the criminal complaint:

At about 12:41 a.m. March 30, Deputy Jay Helixon was notified of a high-speed pursuit on Highway Z in Adams County. The suspect vehicle had turned westbound onto Highway 82 entering Juneau County.

Th Adams County Sheriff’s Office was pursuing Christopher Duff because Duff had violated a no contact order during the night and had threatened to burn down the victim’s house.

The suspect vehicle passed Helixon at about 12:47 a.m. at 62 miles per hour. Helixon turned around to follow the vehicle when the vehicle took an abrupt right turn onto 21st Avenue. After Helixon turned around he activated his emergency lights and sirens, but the vehicle did not pull over and instead gained speed.

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As the chase approached 50th Street, the vehicle tapped their brakes and then ignored the stop sign, turning east without stopping. On 50th Street the vehicle reached speeds of about 80 miles per hour.

The vehicle slowed slightly while turning onto 22nd Avenue but entered the east ditch. The vehicle hit a bump while leaving the roadway that nearly caused the vehicle to flip over before straightening out and reentering the road.

As the vehicle approached 49th Street, it again tapped their brakes and then ignored the stop sign, turning onto the street without stopping or using a turn signal. The vehicle again reached speed around 80 miles per hour. After the vehicle turned onto Highway HH, the vehicle reached speeds of about 90 miles per hour.

Approaching Highway 82, the vehicle slowed but proceeded to ignore the stop sign. As the vehicle was traveling on Highway 82 it reached speeds of about 90 miles per hour before going down a hill and reaching speeds over 110 miles per hour.

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Trooper Allan Platt of the Wisconsin State Patrol was waiting for the vehicle on Highway 82 and 21st Avenue where he deployed a tire deflation device. The device hit the vehicle’s tires and the vehicle decreased to about 58 miles per hour before the vehicles tires started to “shred off.”

Officer Adam Noe of the Mauston Police Department deployed an additional tire deflation device on Highway 82 and Powers Avenue. The device hit the tires and shortly after the vehicle’s front driver’s side tire fell off and entered a ditch. The vehicle continued traveling on just rims on the front two tires.

Helixon followed the vehicle through Mauston. As the vehicle exited Mauston it again reached speeds of about 70 miles per hour.

At 1:06 a.m., the vehicle entered a ditch and the driver exited the vehicle, fleeing into the woods. The driver was identified as Duff from previous law enforcement contacts. Duff was taken into custody.

Duff is scheduled for a preliminary hearing July 2 at the Juneau County Justice Center.

Reach Christopher Jardine on Twitter @ChrisJJardine or contact him at 608-432-6591.


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