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Man jailed after high-speed chase through Columbia and Sauk counties
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Man jailed after high-speed chase through Columbia and Sauk counties

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Uptagraw

A man was charged Monday following a high-speed chase through two counties.

Joseph Uptagraw, 32, had an initial appearance in Columbia County Circuit Court on felony charges of eluding officers and drug possession. Judge Troy Cross set $10,000 cash bond. He remains in custody as of Wednesday afternoon. Uptagraw faces up to 8.5 years in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted of the charges.

A press release from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department last Friday said that the Lake Delton Police Department asked for assistance in intercepting a vehicle believed to be involved in a string of burglaries and driven by Uptagraw. The black vehicle had no license plates and eluded Lake Delton police.

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According to the criminal complaint, a Columbia County sheriff’s deputy spotted the vehicle driving east on Levee Road around 2:56 a.m. and observed the vehicle start to rapidly accelerate. The deputy began pursuing the vehicle and asked Portage police to set up a tire deflation device on Levee Road after driving between 60 and 80 mph. The vehicle hit the tire deflation device near the interstate as the deputy continued pursuing it.

The complaints states one of the tires on the Mercedes began to smoke while approaching Highway 33. One of the tires came off and rolled across lanes of traffic on Highway 33 as the Mercedes continued driving at 40 mph. The vehicle then sped up to 100 mph and began driving west on the highway before slowing down and turning onto Tritz Road. The vehicle slowed further.

A man exited the vehicle while it was still moving and fled into a field. The man was apprehended after being tracked by a deputy, a K-9 and a Portage officer and identified as Uptagraw.

The deputy reported interviewing Uptagraw. The complaint says he told the deputy he had escaped from the Huber program in Sauk County three weeks earlier and fled from law enforcement because he didn’t want to go to jail. The Huber program allows those under jail custody to leave for employment purposes. Uptagraw has been charged in Sauk County Circuit Court with escape.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by Portage police, Wisconsin State Patrol, and Blystone’s Towing. The Friday press release said another passenger was also detained.

Follow Chris Higgins on Twitter @chris_higgins_ or contact him at 920-356-6751 and chiggins@wiscnews.com.

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