Man who fled police gets probation

Published 10:16 am Friday, August 12, 2016

A 21-year-old man arrested after briefly fleeing police in January was sentenced to a stayed jail term and supervised probation in Mower County court Thursday.

As part of a plea agreement, Ezra Robert Hardy pleaded guilty to felony fleeing an officer and misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI. He was sentenced to a stayed prison term of a year and a day, which means he’ll serve three years supervised probation but could serve prison time if he violates the terms of his probation. He received credit for 133 days served.

As part of the deal, charges of misdemeanor driving after a suspended license and petty misdemeanor drug possession were dismissed.

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Police arrested Hardy Jan. 25 after a routine traffic stop for a driving violation which led to a brief pursuit.

The incident started after an officer attempted to pull over a vehicle for a driving violation at the intersection of Tenth Street Northeast and East Oakland Avenue. However, the vehicle continued down Tenth Street and then stopped at Second Avenue Northeast, according to Police Chief Brian Krueger.

A male got out of the vehicle and fled on foot. The officer pursued him but slipped and lost sight of him. The vehicle, containing two other people, took off again at high speed — with Hardy allegedly at the wheel — down Tenth Street and turned left on Eighth Avenue Northeast after running a stop sign, according to the report.

Another Austin squad car got directly behind the vehicle and pursued it onto Ninth Street Northeast. The vehicle ran another stop sign at Sixth Avenue and turned right on Fifth Avenue Northeast and then another right on Eighth Street Northeast where it finally stopped at the 600 block of that street.

The officer performed a high-risk traffic stop.

Officers then arrested Hardy at gunpoint. The other passenger told police Hardy had borrowed the car, but she feared the owner may have reported it stolen, according to the court complaint. She reportedly urged Hardy to stop numerous times, but he refused because he didn’t want to go to jail.

According to the complaint, Hardy started kicking the windows of the police car after being detained and had to be placed in leg shackles.

Police found several items of drug paraphernalia in Hardy’s pockets and in the car. He admitted he had used meth recently, and he agreed to take a drug test.

He was served with two warrants after arriving at the jail.

The suspect who fled cops on foot was not apprehended. The passenger was released.