By Patricia Bogumil
A fleet-footed escapee was caught after slowing down to make a cell phone call while running away from an officer driving him to the Racine County Jail.
According to the criminal complaint filed Sept. 28 in Racine County Circuit Court:
Coty M. Obermeyer, 18, Waterford, admitted to town officers that he used a counterfeit $20 bill obtained from a friend to buy two packs of cigarettes at a local gas station the morning of Sept. 27.
The station owner had called town police after examining the bill and finding it suspect. Shortly after, a town officer located Obermeyer and two friends driving around in the vehicle reported by the station owner.
Obermeyer said he had been shown some fake money by the vehicle’s driver, Joseph E. Iverson, 17, of Wind Lake.
Obermeyer said it was his idea to go to the gas station and see if he could buy cigarettes to see if a fake bill would be accepted.
Obermeyer was searched and handcuffed by town police, and then seated and seatbelted in the rear cage passenger side of a town squad for transport to the Racine County Jail.
Obermeyer began complaining that his hands hurt because of how he was seated and soon manipulated his hands so that he was able to unlock his seatbelt.
The officer noted that his view of the back seat was obstructed by the cage partition.
Obermeyer requested that the back window be opened more, saying he was suffering from anxiety.
The window was further lowered and Obermeyer manipulated his arms through the window opening and then opened the door using the outside door handle, while the squad was reportedly traveling at about 55 mph.
When the officer realized the door had opened, he stopped on Highway 20 near Britton Road. Obermeyer then ran out of the squad before the officer could reach the rear door.
Obermeyer ran across the highway, through the ditch line and into a stand of trees, then north through a soybean field and west along the edge of a canal, all the while chased by the officer who issued loud commands for him to stop.
“I’m not going back to jail!” was Obermeyer’s reported reply.
About three-quarters of a mile into the chase, Obermeyer slowed to make a cell phone call, enabling the officer to catch up and retake him into custody and transport him to the jail without further incident.
Obermeyer is charged with felony uttering a forgery; felony escape; misdemeanor theft; and two misdemeanor counts of bail jumping.
He made an initial appearance in Racine County Court Sept. 28 and was next scheduled for an Oct. 3 preliminary hearing.
• Also charged in the bad money scheme is Iverson, the driver, and a passenger, Marcus A. Eliopulos, 18, of Waterford.
They are both charged with felony uttering a forgery, as a party to a crime, and with misdemeanor theft, as a party to a crime.
Neither Iverson nor Eliopulos attended Sept. 28 court hearings that had been scheduled for them.
Summons have been sent out and they are next scheduled for Oct. 12 initial appearances in Racine County Circuit Court.