Man sentenced in leading officers on 65-mile police chase, backing vehicle over officer

Thomas Chadwick, mugshot

WAUKESHA -- The man charged with leading police on a 65-mile chase through nine cities and backing a vehicle over an officer in early December 2019, has been sentenced, according to court records.

Thomas Chadwick faces eight years for one count of recklessly endangering safety — four years of initial confinement, four years of extended supervision — after the Dec. 11, 2019 incident.

Chadwick was initially charged with four counts — two counts of recklessly endangering safety and two counts of resisting an officer back in January.

One of two Waukesha police officers hit by the vehicle in December recounted what happened at Chadwick's hearing in January.

Thomas Chadwick

Officer Benjamin Kujawa

The 65-mile pursuit started in Waukesha and traveled through nine cities

"We were given information that he was at Kohl's to commit possibly a retail theft," Kujawa said.

Kujawa said when he and another officer approached Chadwick inside the car, the driver's side door was open. As they fought to get Chadwick out of the car, he put the vehicle in reverse at a high rate of speed.

"I fell first. Officer Sanford, I believe, was still holding onto Thomas at the time -- and ultimately fell and his right arm was run over by the vehicle," Kujawa said.

The violent struggle was caught on dashcam video.

The 65-mile pursuit started in Waukesha and traveled through nine cities

"Once we were both on the ground, the driver didn't make any attempt to see if we were OK," Kujawa said.

Prosecutors say Chadwick then sped off and started a 65-mile pursuit through nine communities. It all ended after stop sticks were deployed.

Chadwick's attorney argued probable cause does not exist for recklessly endangering safety.

"I don't think it's plausible to believe that someone could have died in that circumstance," said Paul Crawford, defense attorney.

However, the judge found there was enough evidence to bind Chadwick over for trial.

"The possibilities of even more serious injury was certainly present," said Linda Saafir, Court Commissioner.

Chadwick is due back in court for his restitution hearing on September 4.