Merrill man accused of kicking, threatening officers following high speed pursuit, headed to trial
A Merrill man accused of leading Merrill officers and county deputies on a high speed pursuit, then kicking and threatening officers while in custody, is headed to trial.
John David DuFour, 38, of Merrill, faces an array of charges stemming from the Dec. 30, 2018 incident, including: Felony charges of 1st Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, Vehicle Operator Fleeing or Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer, three counts of Felony-Battery or Threat to a Law Enforcement Officer, two counts of Misdemeanor Resisting or Obstructing an Officer and two counts of Domestic Violence related Disorderly Conduct.
According to a criminal complaint filed with the Lincoln County District Attorney’s office, on the evening of Dec. 30, officers responded to a reported domestic disturbance on West First Street in the city of Merrill. While en route, officers were advised DuFour was intoxicated and had departed the residence in a mini-van. One of the responding officers observed the vehicle DuFour was driving eastbound on West Main Street near Cottage Street.
According to officer notes, the officer turned his patrol vehicle around and activated the emergency lights in an effort to stop DuFour’s vehicle. Rather than stop, the vehicle accelerated and turned on to Wright Street, nearly striking a vehicle stopped at a stop sign, then continued driving against traffic on a one-way street. The officer activated his patrol vehicle’s siren and continued to follow as the van turned on to State Street then back on to West Main Street, reaching speeds in excess of 80 mph. The van then reportedly turned into the lane of oncoming traffic on West Main Street, nearly striking two oncoming vehicles before turning into an alley and striking two snow banks near a west side business and came to a stop in the back yard of the residence where the original call for assistance was made.
While at gunpoint, DuFour emerged from the vehicle and reportedly consistently ignored officer directives. DuFour reportedly responded with vulgarities and taunted officers; reportedly stating “come get it.” At one point, DuFour approached officers while continuing to ignore officer commands. One of the officers then deployed a TASER device to gain DuFour’s compliance. Once handcuffed, DuFour reportedly continued to resist officers’ efforts to take him into custody. He was later transported to Ascension Good Samaritan Hospital for medical clearance, where he once again became uncooperative with officers. At one point DuFour allegedly kicked one officer and repeatedly threatened others.
DuFour appeared in Lincoln County Circuit Court Wednesday, Jan. 2, where he was charged and ordered held on $3,000 cash bond. According to court records, DuFour pled not guilty to his charges, waved his right to a preliminary hearing on Friday, Jan. 11, and was bound over for trial. His next court appearance is set for a pre-trial conference on Thursday, Jan. 31.