It’s hard to imagine what Kenneth R. Shutes Jr. was thinking when he saw the flashing lights in his rearview mirror.
Yes, he had a little weed in the car, but that was the greatest of his crimes. Let’s just say it was one of those split-second decisions that loses its luster in retrospect.
Last week, Shutes was driving in St. Croix County, Wisconsin, across the border from Stillwater, when a deputy noticed the car was owned by a driver who had a revoked license. Said officer tied to pull him over. Shutes decided the better part of valor would be to floor it.
He led the lawman on a high-speed chase, blowing through stop signs and sailing through a campground until finally ending his flight in someone’s driveway.
Our hero stopped and fled on foot, tumbling over a barbed-wire fence before bolting toward the woods.
The deputy set up a perimeter to catch the master criminal. In the end, Mother Nature would get credit for the collar.
It was 8 below that night in scenic St. Croix County. Most criminals agree this is not optimal weather for going on the lam in an outdoor setting. Our hero’s staying power would last less than an hour.
Shutes’ initial flight began at 12:09 a.m. Just past 1 a.m., he was on the horn to 911, asking to be rescued. Deputies used his cell phone to track him, finding him cold and shivering near a swamp. He was taken to a hospital before ultimately landing in the slam.
Though his injuries haven’t been specified – save for a cruel hemorrhaging of pride – officers say Shutes was apologetic and contrite upon arrest, the only play you have when your caper dies so ingloriously.
"Kenneth stated he 'needed' an incident like this because he was making poor decisions in his life," a deputy wrote in his report.
Such penance appears to get you points with the fine lawmen of St. Croix County. He was charged only with failure to obey an officer, marijuana possession, and obstructing an officer, all misdemeanors.
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