A former Eau Claire County sheriff's deputy is suing a man who rammed his squad car after a 2010 high-speed chase that began in Eau Claire and ended just west of Augusta.
Robert H. Shugarts II and his wife, Judith L., filed a civil suit in Eau Claire County Court this week against Dennis M. Mohr, seeking damages in excess of $5,000, along with attorney fees and costs. All live in Eau Claire.
Shugarts, who since has retired from the sheriff's office, was injured in the crash.
Because of his injuries, Shugarts has incurred lost wages and a loss of earning capacity and will continue to incur past and future medical expenses, according to his suit.
According to information released by the sheriff's office following the chase and court records:
The incident sparking the chase began at 7:05 a.m. Oct. 11, 2010, when Eau Claire police received a report of a hit-and-run crash involving an occupied vehicle at the intersection of Clairemont Avenue and Keith Street.
Mohr, the driver of the striking vehicle, a van, continued east on U.S. 12 and struck additional occupied vehicles. Shugarts, who was on duty, located the van on U.S. 12 east of Fall Creek and attempted a traffic stop using his squad car's emergency lights and siren.
Augusta police Chief Mike Mosley received a request for assistance from Shugarts via radio, and Shugarts told him Mohr attempted to back his van into the squad car.
Mosley activated the lights and siren on his squad and headed west on U.S. 12 as Shugarts kept him informed of their location. About a quarter mile east of Highway R, Mosley parked his squad on the shoulder, telling Shugarts he would attempt to deploy stop sticks -- a tire deflation device.
At one point Shugarts pulled around the van in an effort to get motorists ahead of the vehicle to pull over out of Mohr's path and give Mosley a chance to deploy the stop sticks.
Once Shugarts passed Mosley, the chief threw the device out. Seeing it, Mohr took evasive action to avoid striking the device, but the van's front passenger tire hit it.
Shugarts moved toward the shoulder near Highway R and slowed down. Mohr then accelerated and plowed the van into the rear of the squad car, pushing it across the road and into the ditch.
While collecting the stop sticks, Mosley heard Shugarts announce on the radio that there had been a squad-involved crash, looked to the east and saw a large cloud of smoke/dust and the red and blue lights on the squad car.
Upon his arrival, Mosley saw Shugarts squad car and the van about 20 feet off the road near the U.S. 12 and Highway R intersection.
Shugarts was standing near the driver's side door on the van, aiming his stun gun at a white male, later identified as Mohr, lying in a prone position in the tall grass. Mosley helped Shugarts place Mohr in handcuffs.
Mohr, now 53, later was found not guilty by reason of mental disease and defect.
Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. of Madison also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Copyright 2013 - The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service