Leif Erickson to be sentenced in October
The first of two Waukesha men accused of leading police on a naked, drug-fueled pursuit has pleaded guilty or no contest to three charges associated with the chase and will be sentenced in October, according to court records.
Leif Erickson, 22, entered his pleas during an Aug. 24 hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court. He pleaded no contest to second-degree recklessly endangering safety and fleeing or eluding an officer and guilty to narcotic drug possession, all felonies. Judge Lloyd Carter found him guilty of the three offenses.
Police arrested Erickson in August 2015 after he plowed his truck through a fence and slammed it into two Waukesha police cars then sped away and led police on a roughly six-minute vehicle pursuit that ended when Erickson flipped his truck on Progress Avenue. He was naked and told police he was high on LSD at the time, a criminal complaint said.
About 10 months later, police were involved in a similar pursuit – this time with a man named Mark Hunkins. Hunkins, who was strung-out on cocaine, fled from officers in June, first in his car then on foot, and eventually dove into the Fox River before he was apprehended. He pleaded guilty to one felony offense tied to the incident in July and was sentenced to prison.
Erickson's case has been pending for more than a year and he, like Hunkins, has a criminal record. He was on probation for firebombing a woman's car with a Molotov cocktail outside his Waukesha home when he was arrested after the chase. He pleaded guilty in 2014 to negligent handling of a burning material, criminal damage to property and disorderly conduct in the firebombing incident.
As part of a plea agreement, all the remaining charges pending against Erickson as a result of the pursuit – two counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, hit and run involving injury, resisting or obstructing an officer, disorderly conduct and possession of THC and drug paraphernalia – were dismissed but read into the court record.
The maximum combined sentence for the crimes Erickson pleaded to is about 17 years in prison and $45,000 in fines. He is being held at the county jail on a $21,000 cash bond. His sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 28.