A 19-year-old Fond du Lac man is facing charges after he was involved in a car chase and crash with Menomonee Falls police officers with three young children in the car.
Tou L. Thao was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Tuesday with one count of attempting to flee an officer, one count of first offense operating while intoxicated with minors in the vehicle, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment of safety, one count of obstructing an officer and one count of bail jumping. If convicted, he faces up to 42 years in prison and $106,100 in fines.
Patch's media partners at FOX6 obtained chase footage from inside the squad car of a Menomonee Falls police officer.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 6 p.m. Monday, Menomonee Falls police were alerted to a red SUV coming from Fond du Lac with no rear license plate due to it being involved with an accident. Officers traced the car using cell phone pings from area towers, which showed Thao headed their way. Officers spotted the SUV, which had damaged to the passenger side as well and pulled it over on Highway 145.
Thao pulled over and opened the window one inch for the officer. He was smoking a cigarette and when the officer tried to open the door, Thao put the SUV in gear and drove off.
The officers chased him as Thao tried to exit 145 at 124th Street, but he lost control of the vehicle and it slid down an embankment before hitting a fence. Thao then got out and ran on foot, so officers deployed a K-9 unit.
Three children, ages 5, 4, and 3, were inside the SUV still and unharmed from the accident, however, the oldest child later told investigators they were injured, but unable to explain how.
Thao was located near North Park Place Drive and West Lake Park Drive. He didn’t have an ID with him, but a woman’s ID and Quest card were found underneath a Weber grill nearby.
Officers searched the SUV and found the same woman’s purse inside, along with two open beers. Thao attempted field sobriety tests and was placed under arrest for OWI.
He’s currently being held in Waukesha County Jail on $250,000 cash bail.