POLK COUNTY, Wis. (WTAQ) - A northwest Wisconsin man is hospitalized in critical condition after he allegedly tailgated a sheriff’s squad car while he was drunk, and then slammed head-on into another squad. It happened Wednesday night near Balsam Lake in Polk County. 48-year-old Michael Chamandy of Luck is hospitalized in Saint Paul with undisclosed injuries. Officials said he thought an unmarked squad car in front of him was suspicious, because of a recent robbery in the area.
Two back-ups arrived and tried to stop Chamandy – but officers said he sped up instead, and destroyed a Polk County sheriff’s car after striking it head-on in a parking lot while its flashing lights were on. A deputy in that squad car said he was sore, but he escaped serious injury. Authorities say Chamandy faces his 5th drunk driving charge, but plus possible other charges.
Meanwhile, deputies solved the recent robbery and another one a few hours after the crash. A 17-year-old Milltown boy was arrested for allegedly robbing a store in nearby Apple River last Saturday, and a small grocery store near Balsam Lake on Wednesday. And a 16-year-old teen admitted being the get away driver in each holdup.