A chase involving a half-dozen squad cars and a man threatening suicide ended in a police-forced crash Wednesday afternoon in southern Door County.
Sturgeon Bay Police Officer Steve South says officers were dispatched to a residence on Sturgeon Bay's west side at 1:20 p.m. Wednesday for a 42-year-old man who was making threats of suicide and who had taken both prescription and over-the-counter pills.
South says the man was located on Strawberry Lane near the fish hatchery. South says Sgt. Greg Zager tried to stop the man to check on his welfare but was unsuccessful and that's when the chase ensued.
South says a total of six squad cars from both the Sturgeon Bay Police Department and Door County Sheriff's Department were involved in the pursuit, which followed County Hwy U and several roads in the area. South says they tried three times to use spike strips to stop the man but he avoided them each time.
South says because of the length of the chase -- it had gone on for 15-20 minutes -- the fact that the man was driving recklessly and because he was heading back toward the city, officers made the decision to use a PIT -- Pursuit Intervention Technique -- to intentionally spin out the man's vehicle on Geier Road.
South says the man was then taken to the hospital. He says the man wasn't injured in the pursuit but had ingested a lot of pills.
"We were very concerned obviously that he was going to have some sort of medical issue while he was driving," says South. "And that he had already taken a substantial number of pills so we knew that we needed to get him stopped so we could get him to the hospital."
South says because a PIT maneuver was used to make contact with another vehicle and take it off the road, it's considered a traffic crash and was investigated by the Sheriff's Department because it occurred in their jurisdiction.