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St. Ignatius man leads police on hour-long chase

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ST. IGNATIUS — Police say James Wilson Allen, a 37-year-old St. Ignatius resident, led police on a seven-minute car chase followed by a 90-minute foot pursuit after he allegedly tried to run over a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy.

Allen was originally stopped for “unsafe driving habits” around 11 p.m. Jan. 11. Allen put his vehicle in reverse and attempted to back over the deputy, who was able to dive back into his cruiser and was not injured. 

Allen then fled from police. Icy road conditions made for a slow-speed chase, so Allen steered his vehicle through several fields and farmer’s fences before abandoning it in a field and fleeing on foot. 

Police found Allen running through Mission Creek. He’d lost both his shoes and one sock during the pursuit and was very cold. Lake County Undersheriff Dan Yonkin said Allen received medical treatment before he was transported to the Lake County Jail. 

“It’s good that (the officers) caught him, or he might have gone hypothermic,” Yonkin said. 

Tribal Law and Order and the St. Ignatius Police Department assisted the Lake County Sheriff’s Office with tracking and arresting Allen. 

Allen was charged with assault on a peace officer, a felony, and remains in Lake County Jail on a $50,000 bond. 

Once arrested, police discovered Allen had an outstanding $25,000 warrant issued Jan. 7. The warrant stemmed from an assault with a weapon charge last April. 

Allen made his initial court appearance Aug. 8, 2012, and pleaded not guilty. He then failed to appear at three consecutive omnibus hearings scheduled for Oct. 17, Nov. 14 and Dec. 5. A jury trial previously set for Jan. 14 was vacated and reset to April 15 after Allen failed to appear in court Dec. 5. An omnibus hearing is now scheduled for Feb. 13. 

Assault with a weapon carries a maximum penalty of 20 years and or a $50,000 fine. 

Assault on a peace officer carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and or a $50,000 fine.

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