Walworth County pursuit: Deputy injured, man charged

A 25-year-old Racine man is charged with four counts in connection to a Walworth County pursuit and crash that injured a sheriff's deputy on Aug. 1.

Prosecutors allege Tony Perales was behind the wheel during the pursuit – reaching speed over 100 mph.

A Walworth County sheriff's deputy clocked a vehicle driving 62 mph in a 25 mph zone near Elkhorn Road and George Street just after 1 a.m. The deputy began pursuing that vehicle, noting that it ran a stop sign and drove recklessly through roundabouts near State Highways 120 and 12.

A criminal complaint states the deputy activated his lights in pursuit on State Highway 120. The vehicle did not stop – later crossing the center line, running stop signs and accelerating to more than 100 mph. Another deputy – identified as Wayne Blanchard – worked to deploy stop sticks on State Highway 120 near Kniep Road.

The vehicle was going 113 mph as it approached Kniep Road, the complaint states. At that time, the pursuing deputy noted the vehicle's brake lights engaged and it appeared to be losing control. There was a large dust cloud, and the vehicle spun and crash.

Responding deputies noted "heavy" damage to a guard rail on State Highway 120 at the scene. Authorities searched the area for Blanchard, who was not answering his radio after the crash, the complaint states. He was found seriously injured but conscious and was taken to the hospital; he had positioned himself behind the guard rail after deploying stop sticks.

Walworth County Deputy Wayne Blanchard

The complaint states that while Perales received medical treatment at the scene, a deputy observed a "strong" odor of intoxicants on Perales' breath and that he had bloodshot and glassy eyes. 

According to the complaint, Perales admitted to being the driver. Authorities noted that Perales has never had a driver's license.

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Perales is charged with:

  • First-degree reckless injury
  • Fleeing/eluding an officer resulting in great bodily harm
  • Knowingly operating without a license
  • Felony bail jumping

A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 16.

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