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Dickinson County prosecutor charges Wisconsin man now hospitalized after ATV chase with DNR conservation officers

State law enforcement officers are seeking the extradition to Michigan of a Wisconsin man recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on several charges resulting from a July 22 incident in Dickinson County.

The 30-year-old Wausau man pointed a rifle at conservation officers during an attempt to flee on an all-terrain vehicle. His name is being withheld pending arraignment in Dickinson County District Court.

Charges authorized against the man include discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle, which is a 10-year felony; fleeing and eluding police, a 5-year felony; felonious assault, a 4-year felony and a 2-year felony firearms violation.

At 12:56 p.m. July 22, a conservation officer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources was patrolling along U.S. Highway 2, when he saw an all-terrain vehicle operator traveling north on Upper Pine Creek Road with an expired off-road vehicle license.

The officer conducted a traffic stop to address the ORV license violation and the possession of an uncased firearm. The ATV had three long guns secured to the equipment rack. Two shotguns were contained in a case with a .22 cal. rifle partially covered by a blanket.

The ATV operator lacked proper identification and agreed to have the officer follow him back to a hunting camp, reported to belong to a family member. Before leaving the traffic stop, a second conservation officer arrived to assist.

While on the way to the reported family member’s camp, the ATV operator attempted to flee the officers.  At one point during the pursuit, the ATV operator removed the rifle from the blanket and pointed it back towards the officers.

This action caused the ATV operator to come close to losing control of the ATV, which he was able to correct and continue fleeing. After traveling farther along the remote forest road, the subject stood up on the ATV and delivered a self-inflicted gunshot under his jaw.

Both officers stopped and, after securing the suspect, immediately administered emergency first aid, while awaiting EMS and other responding law enforcement officers.

Because of the severity of his injuries, the man was airlifted to a trauma center in Wisconsin.

The subject was identified during the ensuing investigation and found to have multiple outstanding warrants for prior charges in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Michigan State Police assisted at the scene and determined that several articles, that were in possession of the suspect, were reported to have been recently stolen from nearby camps, including the firearms on the ATV. Additional stolen property and a stolen vehicle have since been recovered in the area as well, which MSP is investigating.

Conservation officers were also assisted by Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office. No officers were injured during the incident.

Contact: Lt. Ryan Aho, 906-235-7396