High-speed chase leads to felony charges
Counties are lining up to prosecute Yonke
By Robert Cloud
Tyler B. Yonke, 29, formerly of Weyauwega, faces criminal charges in Waupaca, Marathon and Shawano counties.
He has also been convicted of crimes in Winnebago and Outagamie counties and is currently residing at Dodge Correctional Institution.
In Waupaca County, Yonke’s most recent encounter with local law enforcement involved an alleged 15-mile, high-speed chase. That incident resulted in a felony charge of causing property damage while fleeing an officer.
At 2 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13, Weyauwega Police Officer Matthew Batte was dispatched to Presto Products in response to a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot.
Waupaca County Deputies Dan Lewinski and James Santiago met Batte at the Cenex gas down the road from the factory. They had responded to Batte’s request for backup.
When they arrived, the officers found a black 2010 Ford F350 pickup truck parked with its engine running and the driver apparently asleep. A records check indicated that the truck was stolen out of Grand Chute.
Batte positioned his squad car directly in front of the truck, activated his emergency lights and shined his spotlight into the cab, but the driver did not respond. Batte then activated his siren for a few seconds, but the driver still did not respond.
Batte then approached the passenger’s side of the vehicle, while Santiago approached the driver’s side. Lewinski remained further back to provide cover.
When Batte banged his flashlight on the side window, the driver sat up, and looked at both officers who were yelling at him to show his hands.
According to the criminal complaint, the driver, later identified as Yonke, drove the truck forward, crashed into Batte’s squad car, pushed past it, then exited the parking lot at a high rate of speed.
Lewinski was the first to begin pursuing Yonke, with Batte and Santiago following. Batte’s vehicle was damaged, but operable.
Reaching speeds between 80 and 100 mph, the truck made its way south on County Trunk X, then headed toward Waushara County on County Trunk A.
After losing sight of the truck, the officers terminated the pursuit.
On March 6, Everest Metro Police arrested Yonke in possession of the stolen truck.
On March 10, Batte and Detective Sgt. John Mocadlo with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office went to the Marathon County jail to interview Yonke. Batte recognized Yonke from the incident at the Presto Products parking lot.
Mocadlo attempted to question Yonke about the incident, but Yonke said he wanted to speak with a lawyer first.
Yonke is currently serving a 12-month prison sentence. He was convicted in Outagamie County of felony bail jumping and resisting an officer in April 2014 and placed on three years probation. His probation was revoked on May 14, 2015 and he was sentenced to prison.
Nine days prior to the high-speed chase, Yonke was charged in Waupaca County with burglary and three counts of theft. He was subsequently convicted of two counts of theft and placed on two years of probation.
He was charged with auto theft and resisting an officer in Marathon County on March 9.
In Shawano County, Yonke was charged with misdemeanor theft on April 9 and with auto theft on May 19.
In Winnebago County, Yonke was convicted of forgery uttering on June 8 and sentenced to 120 days in jail.