Danielle N. Ford

Behind the wheel of vehicle reported stolen

A resourceful driver who managed to avoid “stop sticks” deployed in Chippewa and Barron counties before her capture in Washburn County last Friday, May 15, 2020, is in the Barron County Jail awaiting a preliminary hearing tomorrow, Thursday, May 21, in Barron County Circuit Court.

Along with a felony charge of fleeing and eluding in Barron County, 29-year-old defendant Danielle N. Ford, Chippewa Falls, is also a defendant in half a dozen other cases in Eau Claire and Clark counties, and is suspected of stealing vehicles in both Wisconsin and Illinois, according to court records and a press release from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a complaint filed May 18, the chase began in Chippewa Falls when the defendant fled her grandmother’s home when she saw a Chippewa County Sheriff’s deputy arrive to attempt to take her into custody.

The chase moved north on U.S. Hwy. 53 before Chippewa County notified Barron County it was discontinuing the chase at the county line.

A Bloomer officer spotted the vehicle going north past his community, and four Barron County Sheriff’s deputies intercepted the fleeing Chevrolet Impala near the Chetek rest stop on the highway.

The chase went on at speeds that one deputy estimated to be 120 to 130 mph, and the car avoided a set of stop sticks deployed at another location near Chetek.

But the third stop stick deployment proved to be the suspect’s undoing. A Washburn County deputy was able to deflate three of the vehicle’s tires, while another county squad nudged the vehicle off the highway and into a ditch.

In a later interview at the Barron County Jail, the defendant allegedly said that while the chase was on, “she knew officers were (using stop sticks) … but that she was able to … avoid them because she is a good driver.”

The defendant also allegedly said that when she was stopped, she tried to back up and drive in reverse before she was arrested.

Besides being a suspect in two auto thefts, one in West Allis, Wis., and one in Illinois, Wisconsin Circuit Court records said Hill is a defendant in the following felony cases:

• Eau Claire County – interfering with child custody, a charge filed in August 2018.

• Eau Claire County – three bail jumping charges, filed in October 2018, March 2019, and May 11, 2020.

• Clark County – burglary, a charge filed in July 2019.