Suspect pleads guilty to fleeing while drunk

Published 2:38 pm Saturday, February 9, 2013

A rural Austin man who allegedly fled police while drunk pleaded guilty Thursday in Mower County Court.

Tony Michael Bell, 25, pleaded guilty to fleeing a police officer, a felony; and gross misdemeanor DWI as part of a plea agreement. Another charge for DWI, along with charges for speeding and possession of drug paraphernalia, may be dismissed.

An Austin police officer arrested Bell after a high-speed chase around 1 a.m. Friday, July 6. The officer followed Bell north of Austin on County Road 25 after he clocked Bell’s truck going 77 mph in a 40 mph zone. When the officer turned his lights on, Bell allegedly sped up to 92 mph and eventually turned his lights off, as well. The officer saw Bell turn down a gravel drive and park behind a shed, where the officer followed and arrested him. After Bell stopped, he didn’t resist arrest. Bell’s breath test showed a .16 blood-alcohol content; and according to the court complaint Bell has previously been convicted of fourth- and third-degree DWI.

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Bell’s sentencing is set for April 12.