Just after 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon a pickup was observed by the Stanton County Sheriff’s office driving recklessly near 8th and Veterans in Stanton and was then observed spinning cookies in a private lot near 10th and Veterans throwing up large clouds of dirt and dust. The pickup then accelerated west on Veterans Drive (Hwy 24) at high speeds and after the pickup was clocked at over 100 mph as it left Stanton on Hwy 24 and attempt to stop him was undertaken by the Sheriff’s office. The pickup failed to yield to emergency lights and siren and continued westbound on Hwy 24 at high speeds. A second Sheriff’s unit joined the pursuit as the pickup continued to speed westbound on Hwy 24 and then began driving on the wrong side of the road in the eastbound lanes. The pursuit entered Madison County and at the intersection of Hwy 24 and Hwy 275 deflation spikes were deployed by the Norfolk Police Division and were successful in deflating three tires almost immediately and the vehicle was forced to continue north on the Hwy 35 bypass by a Sheriff’s unit and continued to flee at high speeds as the tires disintegrated. As the pursuit neared the East Norfolk Avenue roundabout the vehicle was forced again to continue north as he tried to turn west onto Norfolk avenue. The pickup slowed and then again accelerated as the lone driver began reaching within the vehicle and making obscene gestures towards law enforcement. The driver then suddenly struck his windshield with a large hand held sledge hammer damaging it and then broke out his drivers side window with the hammer and then began to hold it outside waiving it in a threatening manner. As he approached East Benjamin avenue he accelerated into a left turn onto East Benjamin driving on the wrong side of the road (eastbound lanes) nearly striking a Norfolk Police unit. At that time, Sheriff Unger who was actively involved in the pursuit directed a Stanton County deputy to use his patrol pickup and perform a PIT (Precision Intervention Technique) maneuver to force the fleeing pickup off the roadway. The maneuver was successful and the fleeing pickup was forced into the grass on the northside of roadway in front of NECC. The male driver continued to attempt to accelerate as his vehicle and move, but was pinned by the patrol unit. He then refused to cooperate and follow commands and after threatening law enforcement he was tased twice by members of the Sheriff’s office and secured in handcuffs. The driver was identified as Nathaniel Gnewuch, 31, of Norfolk and he was jailed on multiple charges after being medically cleared by Norfolk Fire and Rescue. Gnewuch faces charges in both Stanton and Madison County of Reckless Driving, Speeding 100 plus mph on Hwy 24, Willful Reckless Driving, Felony Operating a Motor Vehicle to Avoid Arrest and Resisting Arrest. Gnewuch is currently out on bond for a Flight to Avoid charge in Norfolk back in April. The Sheriff’s patrol unit involved suffered fairly minor cosmetic damage to end the pursuit. The Madison County Sheriff’s office and Nebraska State Patrol also assisted in the successful outcome with no innocent parties being injured by the actions of Gnewuch.
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