A Portage man was arrested Tuesday night after a paramedic’s prompt response to a car crash ended with four felony charges against the driver.
Mark Evans, 58, appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court on Thursday, charged with felony operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated as a sixth offense and three counts of battery or threat to a law enforcement officer.
Evans was driving through the town of Dekorra just before 10 p.m., according to the criminal complaint, when an off-duty emergency medical technician saw Evans’ vehicle crash into the ditch. When a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy arrived on the scene several minutes later, the EMT told the officer what had happened and that he had seen the driver flee from the scene.
The suspect was found lying in the ditch and during the subsequent arrest, reportedly swore at the deputy and assisting Wisconsin State Trooper. The trooper then spoke with the EMT, who said Evans had passed him going north at about 85 mph on Interstate 39, missing the exit for County Highway CS and plowing into the ditch.
During the arrest, following a preliminary breath test registering a .183 blood-alcohol level, Evans reportedly told the deputy, “I am going to hurt your child,” then going on to say, “I guarantee you your daughter is going to feel it,” and “Your daughter is going to know what happened tonight. Your daughter is going to pay.”
In the car, Evans told the deputy that he was going to kill him and he was “as good as dead,” making comments about having the deputy’s daughters raped by someone else.
In court on Thursday, defense attorney Ronald Benavides told the court that the things Evans had said were “fairly outrageous, but not in his normal behavior,” and pointing out that Evans’ last OWI offense was in 2008.
Judge W. Andrew Voigt surmised that there were multiple recordings of Evans’ “colorful language,” and ordered Evans be held on an “exceedingly modest” cash bond of $250.
Evans is scheduled to next appear in court for a Feb. 14 return hearing.