By Shereen Siewert
A Wausau man who led officers on a 33-mile chase through multiple counties at speeds topping 120 mph is jailed on a $50,000 cash bond, after appearing in court on charges of fleeing an officer and possession of methamphetamine.
Victor Pennington, 26, was charged Sept. 17 in Marathon County Circuit Court, three days after the chase that began on Wausau’s west side and ended in Shawano County.
Police say a passenger in Pennington’s vehicle threw several large bags of methamphetamine out of Pennington’s Camaro during the chase, along with Pennington’s cell phone. SWAT team membeers searched the area and seized more than 800 grams of methamphetaime from ditches along the chase route. A typical dose of methamphetamine is 0.2 grams, which means Pennington allegedly was traveling with roughly 4,000 doses of the drug during the chase.
The chase began at about 10:20 p.m. on Sept. 14 after a Wausau Police officer tried to pull Pennington’s vehicle over for running a red light at the intersection of South 28th Ave. and Sherman Street. Police say Pennington pulled onto Hwy. 51, headed south, then traveled eastbound on Hwy. 29 before exiting at County Highway J. From there, Pennington continued to the Hwy. 153 merge, where he traveled over tire deflation devices and ultimately stopped just west of County Hwy. M in Shawano County. The total distance of the pursuit was 33.8 miles, according to court documents.
Police say Pennington and a passenger both fled into the woods, but were taken into custody. Pennington’s passenger has not been charged.
Court records show Pennington has a criminal history that includes a drug trafficking conviction in July 2019, for which he was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, minus credit for time served. According to the Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections, Pennington was released in July before absconding from extended supervision.
A review hearing is set for Sept. 29 with a pretrial conference on Nov. 9.