UPDATED: Search continues for fugitive officer in Barron County
RICE LAKE, Wis. (AP) — A police officer wanted for burglarizing a restaurant in eastern Wisconsin and leading officers on a chase was still on the run Tuesday. His co-workers were stunned that he may have committed the crimes, according to his police supervisor.
Bradley J. Young, a Waupun police lieutenant, is suspected of breaking into the Walkers Kollerville Restaurant in Green Lake about 1 a.m. Monday. A detection system alerted the owners, who called the Green Lake Sheriff's Department.
A responding deputy spotted the suspect, dressed in camouflage, leaving the restaurant and chased him into a cornfield where he disappeared, according to sheriff's officials. Tactical officers searched the area with the help of a Fond du Lac police dog.
A vehicle, believed to be Young's, was found near the restaurant. It and Young's residence in Brandon were searched, authorities said.
Sheriff's officials say Young also stole a pickup truck in Green Lake about 3 p.m. Monday. The pickup was spotted in western Wisconsin several hours later. Barron County sheriff's deputies chased the 1985 Toyota truck, which crashed near Rice Lake. The driver fled on foot into nearby woods, officials said.
Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Young apparently stole a second vehicle near Rice Lake sometime Tuesday morning. A statewide alert was issued for a 1996 white Nissan Maxima with Wisconsin license plate 480-HGK, Fitzgerald said.
"We have a pretty good hunch he took it," the sheriff said.
Young, 43, has been on the Waupun police force for 22 years, according to Deputy Chief Scott Louden. He described the lieutenant as very professional and a good supervisor.
"This was a shock to the whole department. Nobody had any idea," Louden said. "There was no sign of him going through any difficult times."
The police lieutenant is married with a high school-aged child and another in college, Louden said.