By Shereen Siewert

A 33-year-old woman was arrested late Saturday after allegedly stealing a pickup and leading police on a high speed chase on Wausau’s west side, with speeds topping 80 mph, according to court records.

Sephira I. Briske, who is listed in court records as homeless, appeared Wednesday in Marathon County Circuit Court, where she faces charges of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, attempting to flee an officer, criminal damage to property, possession of drug paraphernalia and bail jumping.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called at 9 a.m. Dec. 29 to a residence in the 600 block of Eau Claire Blvd. for a report of a stolen Dodge Ram pickup. About an hour later, officers spotted the vehicle in the vicinity of W. Bridge Street and N. Third Avenue and attempted to pull the vehicle over. But the driver, later identified as Briske, fled police, traveling south on N. Third Avenue, according to court documents, nearly causing a crash after running a red light on Stewart Avenue.

Police say Briske continued to flee at a high rate of speed until reaching a parking lot at the end of Third Avenue, then ran over a concrete curb barrier and driving over a snowbank to turn around. After turning west onto Cottage Street, which is a dead end, Briske struck a snowbank at the west end of the street, bringing the pickup to a halt, police said. But an officer following Briske was unable to stop in time to avoid striking the pickup with his squad car.

While the officer was getting out of his vehicle, Briske tried to ram the squad car with the pickup, according to the police report. The officer was not injured.

Briske, who is free on a $5,000 signature bond, is due in court Feb. 12 for a preliminary hearing.