17-year-old Wisconsin boy leads deputies on dangerous pursuit with speeds over 125MPH

WEST BEND, Wis. (WFRV) – A 17-year-old Wisconsin boy faces formal charges after leading authorities on a dangerous high-speed pursuit over the weekend.

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was driving on Interstate 41 in the village of Germantown when they observed a car approaching from behind at a high rate of speed around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, January 27.

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The vehicle, driven by Dresden Fritsch from West Bend, reportedly drastically slowed down after he saw the squad car. Officials say that the squad car exited U.S. Highway 45 near Pioneer Road and re-entered immediately, observing Fritsch increase speeds back up toward 90 miles per hour.

The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Fritsch but reportedly disobeyed and increased his speed. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office says the deputy involved in the pursuit was operating around 125 miles per hour, and Fritsch continued to pull away northbound on U.S. Highway 45.

The deputy eventually lost sight of Fritsch until he approached the State Highway 33 exit in the city of West Bend, where he found that Fritsch attempted to navigate a right turn but could not do so because of the high speeds.

Fritsch crashed the vehicle with the median barrier and went into the oncoming lane of State Highway 33. The 17-year-old suspect continued driving the wrong way down State Highway 33 but at much slower speeds due to the damage from smashing into the median.

Eventually, Fritsch stopped and was taken into custody without further incident. Two juvenile passengers were located in the vehicle. They were both cited for underage drinking and released to their parents.

Fritsch, who was convicted of OWI in October of 2023 in an unrelated matter, was operating well outside his occupational license restrictions at the time of his arrest.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis spoke in depth about this incident, issuing a reminder that operating vehicles at high speeds will not be tolerated.

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“Unfortunately, southeast Wisconsin has experienced several horrific tragedies in the past couple of months related directly to reckless driving and the refusal to stop for law enforcement,” stated Schulteis. “Law enforcement must conduct a balancing test when determining whether to pursue it or not. This balancing test requires public safety officials to balance the need to capture with the level of risk the pursuit is causing the public. Often, this means that these perpetrators escape capture because we choose not to pursue it. The entire criminal justice system needs to respond accordingly to those who show complete and utter disregard for human life by driving in this manner. The punitive measures taken should be to the level that those who have been caught will think otherwise next time and serve as a deterrent for those who may in the future.”

Court records show that Dresden Fritsch is facing the following charges:

  • 2nd-Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety

    • Felony G

  • Vehicle Operator Flee/Elude Officer

    • Felony I

Fritsch made his initial appearance in the Washington County Courthouse on Monday, where a $10,000 signature bond was ordered.

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Wisconsin Circuit Court Access records reveal that Fritsch has signed his signature bond and will not be able to operate a motor vehicle. He is also expected to maintain absolute sobriety and cannot have contact with three individuals other than incidental contact at school.

A hearing is scheduled for March 20; no additional details were provided.

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