By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau man who stole a vehicle and led officers on a chase with speeds topping 100 mph will spend two years in prison after being convicted of his sixth charge of operating while intoxicated.
Thomas Vogedes, 35, was wearing only boxer shorts and told police he was “on acid for four days” before the incident, according to court documents. He was charged Nov. 10 in Marathon County Circuit Court.
According to the criminal complaint, at about 10:22 p.m. on Nov. 7 a woman called police to report that her car was missing from her town of Hamburg home and an unfamiliar vehicle was parked in her driveway. A check of the license plate showed the abandoned vehicle was reported stolen from Lincoln County one day prior.
About 15 minutes later a deputy observed the woman’s vehicle at the intersection of Hwy. K and Hwy. L traveling at a high rate of speed. After pulling over for about 10 seconds, the driver, identified as Vogedes, allegedly sped away, leading the deputy on a chase with speeds regularly in the 100 mph to 107 mph range. The speed limit on the roadway is 55 mph.
The chase ended after about 4 miles when another deputy used stop sticks to deflate the vehicle’s tires, according to court documents. Vogedes allegedly got out of the vehicle, clad only in his underwear and without socks or shoes, and was taken into custody.
Police say Vogedes apologized for his behavior and said he was afraid after spending several days “on acid” and thought police were planning to shoot him, according to court documents.
Vogedes was transported to a local hospital, where he allegedly became belligerent and accused a deputy of being a “devil worshiper.” He was arrested and taken to jail.
During a plea hearing Monday, Circuit Judge Mike Moran found Vogedes guilty of the OWI charge and a felony charge of taking and driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent. Additional related charges were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to online court records.
Judge Moran sentenced Vogedes to two years in prison followed by five years extended supervision. Vogedes will also pay a fine of $3,976 and undergo treatment. He was given 155 days credit for time served.
According to court records, Vogedes’ driving privileges will be reinstated after three years.