Michael Denn, 57, Grantsburg, pleaded guilty to vehicle operator flee or elude officer and pleaded no contest to attempting to disarm a peace officer, both charges are felony counts. He was initially facing five felony counts, three misdemeanor counts and six traffic cases.
According to the criminal complaint, Feb. 6, 2018 Denn was pulled over after driving erratically and later fled the stop in his vehicle. Officers then were able to get Denn out of the vehicle and later used a taser on him.
In court Tuesday Denn’s attorney, Daniel Chapman, argued that Denn was not attempting to disarm the officer.
“He was drive stunned, which does not mean they shoot the taser they actually use the gun like a cattle prod,” Chapman argued.
He continued to explain he was not attempting to disarm the officer but was just “swatting” at the stun gun being driven into his back.
A search of Denn’s van yielded a glass meth pipe with burnt residue, a metal spoon with unknown residue and various burglarious tools - including a headlamp and pry bar.
Felony charges including possession of methamphetamine and battery or threat to judge, prosecutor or law enforcement officer were dismissed but read in for sentencing purposes as part of the plea deal.
Denn also had six open traffic cases including charges of operating left of center line, reckless driving – endangering safety and first OWI (operating while intoxicated.) Those cases were all dismissed but read in for sentencing purposes.
Denn’s sentencing hearing is set for Dec. 20 following a pre-sentence investigation.