A criminal complaint has been filed in La Crosse County Circuit Court against a Fargo, North Dakota, woman accused of driving nearly 140 mph on Interstate 90 before running out of gas.
Amy Torres faces a felony charge of attempting to elude an officer and misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
According to the complaint, a town of Campbell police officer was running radar checks on Interstate 90 and detected a westbound vehicle operated by Torres traveling 119 mph in a 70 mph zone. The complaint says the vehicle had no license plates.
After the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Torres reportedly accelerated and reached a speed of 137 mph before exiting onto Hwy. B. The officer briefly lost sight of the vehicle but located it again on Interstate 90 parked on the westbound Mississippi River bridge with its hazard lights activated.
The officer reported that Torres was visibly upset and crying. She reportedly told the officer she was visiting friends in Austin, Minnesota, but left after they began acting weird. She said she intended to return to Fargo but headed the wrong way on Interstate 90.
Torres told police she ran out of gas, and police confirmed that the vehicle was inoperable. Police believe Torres would have continued to flee into Minnesota if not for the empty gas tank.
The complaint says police noticed a half-empty beer can in a cup holder. Torres told the officer she hadn’t been drinking, and a field sobriety test reportedly showed no sign of impairment. Police searched the vehicle and allegedly found a smoking device with burned marijuana residue and a grinder with one gram of marijuana.
Torres has an initial court appearance set for July 19.
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La Crosse County Circuit Court felonies in May
David C. Johnson
David C. Johnson, 40, La Crosse, was charged with strangulation/suffocation. According to the criminal complaint, a woman told police that Johnson grabbed her by the throat during a May 24 altercation in La Crosse. Johnson is being held in the La Crosse County Jail on a $1,000 cash bond.
Bailey J. Hedum
Bailey J. Hedum, 23, La Crosse, had been charged with possession of methamphetamine. According to the criminal complaint, Hedum was found with 3.1 grams of methamphetamine May 25 after she was arrested for an outstanding warrant in La Crosse. She is being held in the La Crosse County Jail on $1,000 cash bond.
Ray Marks Welcome
Ray Marks Welcome, 57, La Crosse, has been charged with possession of methamphetamine. According to the criminal complaint, police found Welcome with a crystallized unit of methamphetamine after arresting him on an outstanding warrant. He is free after posting a $500 cash bond.
Larrysha C. McShan
Larrysha C. McShan, 34, La Crosse, has been charged with burglary to a dwelling and possession of methamphetamine. According to separate criminal complaints, McShan was found with 5.7 grams of methamphetamine after police responded to an Oct. 20, 2020, trespassing call in La Crosse. In the other complaint, she is accused of entering a La Crosse residence March 19 and stealing a checkbook and a laptop computer valued at $170. She is free on a $2,500 signature bond.
Noah J. Betz, 21, La Crosse was charged with a felony OWI, his fourth, and a hit and run after crashing into a tree while intoxicated early May 23 and fleeing the scene.
Tyrone J. White
Tyrone J. White, 28, La Crosse, was charged with strangulation/suffocation. According to the criminal complaint, a woman told police that White placed both hands around her neck during a physical altercation April 23 in La Crosse. White was released on a $2,500 signature bond.
Jason S. Degenhardt
Jason S. Degenhardt, 47, Onalaska, was charged with strangulation/suffocation and possession of methamphetamine. According to the criminal complaint, a woman told police Degenhardt placed both hands around her neck for 10-15 second during a May 15 altercation in La Crosse. The same complaint says Degenhardt was found with 2.4 grams of methamphetamine May 14 after police responded to a report that Degenhardt needed medical treatment. Degenhardt was released on a $2,500 signature bond.
Jedidiah C. Furse
Jedidiah C. Furse, 22, La Crosse, was charged with possession of narcotic drugs. According to the criminal complaint, Furse was found with fentanyl during a stranded motorist check May 3 in La Crosse. Furse was ordered held on a $500 cash bond, which was later converted to a signature bond.
Robert L. Perry
Robert L. Perry, 42, Onalaska, was charged with burglary and possession of methamphetamine. According to the criminal complaint, Perry used bolt cutters to break into a pair of storage units in Onalaska April 12. Police arrested Perry April 15 and reportedly found 2.74 grams of methamphetamine in his possession. He was released on a $5,000 signature bond.
Kimber L. Burkhardt
Kimber L. Burkhardt, 47, La Crosse, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of an electric weapon. According to the criminal complaint, Burkhardt was found with 4.09 grams of methamphetamine and a Taser during a May 4 traffic stop in La Crosse. She was released on a $1,000 signature bond.
David A. Verdick
David A. Verdick, 55, La Crosse, was charged with four felonies for drug possession, as well as attacking and stealing the phone of his son's 15-year-old friend on May 12. He was released on a $5,000 signature bond.
Dustin A. Winchester
Dustin Winchester, 22, La Crosse, was charged with felony bail jumping, as well as a misdemeanor offense for disorderly conduct and a forfeiture for online harassment. He was arrested on an active warrant after reports from a former high school classmate indicated he was inappropriately messaging her and tried to make contact with her family and roommate. He was released on a $1,000 signature bond on orders to not contact the victim or have any social media use.
Carmen Dunnum, 43, of La Crosse was charged May 13 with felony bail jumping/no contact. Dunnum called a person he was ordered not to May 12.
Jacob Lewis, 37, of La Crosse was charged May 13 with being a fugitive. Lewis failed to appear for Settlement Conference in Houston County on felony controlled substance crimes.
Robert D. Wilson
Robert D. Wilson, 27, La Crosse, was charged with two felonies for domestic abuse false imprisonment and drug possession, among other misdemeanors for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and bail jumping. Wilson was arrested at America's Best Value Inn where he allegedly struck and choked his partner, and prevented her from leaving the hotel room by locking the door, blocking her and shoving her to the bed. He was held on a $2,500 cash bond.
Jason L. Basterfield
Jason L. Basterfield, 34, La Crosse, was charged Tuesday with five felony counts for burglary and drug possession. The criminal complaint states that Basterfield entered a Pine Street residence early on April 27 and stole electronics and a 2011 Toyota Camry. He was issued a $2,500 cash bond.
David C. Johnson
David C. Johnson, 40, La Crosse, was charged Tuesday with felony bail jumping and a misdemeanor offense for a domestic disorderly conduct. Police were called after a woman said Johnson was threatening her and charging at her, the criminal complaint states. He was issued a $1,000 signature bond with the condition of no contact with the victim.
Gary L. Willert II
Gary L. Willert II, 35, La Crosse, was charged three felonies for drug possession and bond violation, as well as drug-related misdemeanor counts and one for resisting arrest. According to the criminal complaint, Willert was arrested May 11 after America's Best Value Inn staff contacted police about an impaired man near its front door. Officers identified the man as Willert and discovered an active warrant for his arrest. Officers obtained heroin, methamphetamine, prescription pills and other drug paraphernalia on his person. Willert did not want to appear in court Tuesday and is being held without bond.
David A. Pearson
David A. Pearson, 34, La Crosse, was charged with felony bail jumping and three misdemeanors for theft, resisting arrest and criminal damage to property Tuesday. The criminal complaint states that Pearson stole two rings of keys from a UPS driver while he was delivering packages inside a Main Street apartment building on May 10. He was issued a $1,000 cash bond.
Pallace E. Buckhanan
Pallace E. Buckhanan, 39, La Crosse, was charged with a felony for strangulation and suffocation, as well as two misdemeanors for battery and disorderly conduct. The criminal complaint states that Buckhanan attempted to strangle her girlfriend during a domestic dispute. Buckhanan was released on a $1,500 signature bond with the condition of no contact with the girlfriend.
Crystal J. Johnson
Crystal J. Johnson, 43, Onalaska, was charged with a felony count of operating while under the influence, her sixth offense, as well as operating with prohibited alcohol concentration, and two misdemeanors for operating while revoked and for violation of a court ordered ignition interlock device. Johnson was pulled over by Onalaska police on the night of May 7 after a report of a possible intoxicated driver leaving the American Legion in Onalaska. Johnson was issued a $2,500 cash bond with conditions of absolute sobriety and no driving.
Lindsay R. Schara
Lindsay R. Schara, 41, La Crosse, was charged with possession of narcotic drugs, and three misdemeanors for criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct and bail jumping after being arrested for a neighborhood dispute where officers found 0.6 grams of heroin and needles in Schara's purse. Schara was released on a $1,500 signature bond with no contact, alcohol or drug conditions.
Patric D. Zimbric
Patric D. Zimbric, 42, La Crosse, has been charged with possession of methamphetamine. According to the criminal complaint, Zimbric was found with .3 grams of methamphetamine after La Crosse police responded to a May 2 welfare check. Zimbric was released on a $1,500 signature bond.
Jack A. Freitag
Jack A. Freitag, 49, La Crosse, has been charged with possession of methamphetamine. According to the criminal complaint, Freitag was found with 1.1 grams of methamphetamine after La Crosse police responded to an April 30 shoplifting complaint. Freitag was released on a $1,500 signature bond.