For the second time in less than 10 months, police found themselves in a high-speed chase with a naked man.
In the latest incident, police pursuit of 29-year-old Waukesha resident Mark Hunkins, possibly high on cocaine, ended in the Fox River late Wednesday, June 1, after Hunkins allegedly fled from officers first in his car then on foot.
Hunkins was charged Tuesday, June 7, in Waukesha County Circuirt Court with lewd and lascivious behavior in public and two counts each of resisting or obstructing an officer and fleeing or eluding an officer.
His next hearing is scheduled for June 14. If convicted, Hunkins could spend years behind bars and owe up to $50,000 in fines.
Sequence of events
According to Waukesha police and a criminal complaint, the incident began around 11:58 p.m., when a resident in the 200 block of Charles Street reported a possible burglary in progress at a house there.
The first officer on scene spotted Hunkins — who was naked — near the home and ordered him to stop, but Hunkins reportedly ignored the officer and instead hurried into his car, a Volvo station wagon, and sped away.
That sparked a brief vehicle pursuit, which police called off when Hunkins drove into the downtown area. However, officers were able to follow Hunkins' movements via a live video surveillance system and eventually tracked him to the Fox River.
Police said Hunkins was driving erratically — ignoring traffic signals, striking curbs and at times driving in oncoming lanes of traffic — before the front tires on his car fell off and he abandoned the vehicle near Barstow Street and St. Paul Avenue.
While still trying to elude police, Hunkins jumped into the Fox River. He was eventually persuaded to come out, but not before the Waukesha Fire Department deployed a rescue boat as a safety precaution, police said.
After getting out of the river, Hunkins lunged at police officers and had to be subdued with beanbag rounds and a Taser before he was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for treatment. While there, Hunkins admitted to using cocaine, according to the complaint.
The June 1 chase has a striking resemblance to another Waukesha police pursuit last August that also involved a naked man, allegedly high on drugs, fleeing from officers.
The suspect involved in that incident, Waukesha resident Leif Erickson, reportedly plowed his truck through a fence on Newhall Avenue, slammed it into two Waukesha police cars there, then drove erratically and sped down Sunset Drive and later flipped and crashed his truck on Progress Avenue — all while he was naked and high on LSD.
Erickson, 22, tried to walk away from his truck after he was thrown from it during the crash, but was arrested and taken to the hospital.
He was charged with three counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer, hit and run (causing injury), obstructing an officer, and disorderly conduct/domestic abuse.
Court records show that case is still pending, and Erickson's next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 25.