Vehicle fleeing traffic stop rammed 2 law enforcement vehicles on Beltline

All lanes reopened at 2:25 p.m., according to WisDOT

MADISON, Wis. – A driver rammed two law enforcement vehicles on Thursday afternoon as he tried to escape during a westbound Beltline vehicle chase, causing spreading traffic delays beyond Highway 51.

Madison Police Department spokesman Hunter Lisko initially said the vehicle that hit the squad cars was stolen, but later clarified that was not the case. Officials said the crash happened as multiple law enforcement agencies attempted to locate stolen vehicles in the area as part of a “proactive traffic operation”.

Two MPD officers were injured in the accident and have been hospitalized as a precaution, but both are expected to recover. Two WSP officers were seen at a local hospital as a precaution but were not injured, according to WisDOT.

According to WisDOT, the accident – which happened around 12:11 a.m. between the West Broadway and John Nolen Drive exits – happened after a WSP soldier tried to stop a vehicle traveling down Flex Lane. closed. The driver reportedly refused to stop and hit the MPD squad car on the driver’s side before hitting the WSP cruiser.

Authorities said the suspect then got out of his vehicle and fled before trying to hijack a taxi that was parked at a nearby business. The suspect was taken into custody shortly after, although authorities did not say what charges the individual may face.

The accident closed the three left lanes of the Beltline for just over two hours; WisDOT’s 511 website showed backups extending beyond Highway 51. As of 2:25 p.m., all lanes had reopened.

Since MPD officers were involved in the crash, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office and Wisconsin State Patrol will handle the rest of the investigation. Any announcement regarding charges against the suspect will come from the Wisconsin State Patrol.

In total, the four-hour traffic operation ended with multiple arrests and the recovery of two firearms, a stolen vehicle and a “significant amount” of controlled substances, according to the sheriff’s office. .

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story reported that the vehicle that rammed the MPD squad car was stolen; a department spokesperson and WisDOT officials later said the vehicle involved in the crash was not stolen.