Chase of Porsche reaches 150 mph
A high-speed chase ended peacefully Sunday afternoon when law enforcement arrested a man who had allegedly reached 150 mph while fleeing in a Porsche.
Highway Patrol Trooper Mark Nelson arrested 60-year-old Bruce Pueppke, of Letcher, for aggravated eluding and speeding. Law enforcement found him hiding in a tree grove around 4:45 p.m.
Nelson was on Interstate 90 when he clocked Pueppke driving a gray Porsche at 105 mph eastbound near the Hanson and McCook county line.
“Speeds got up to 150 mph,” Nelson said in an interview with The Daily Republic on Sunday evening. “But then he’d quickly catch up with traffic and have to slow down.”
Nelson said Pueppke weaved in and out of traffic and eventually exited the interstate at mile marker 357 in McCook County between Salem and Spencer. Pueppke doubled back toward Mitchell on backroads.
He drove to a farmstead on 247th Street, or Plano Road, a mile or two north of the Mitchell Municipal Airport. He jumped from his car and ran into a tree grove, according to Nelson.
“He drove in like he knew the place,” Nelson said, but he was unable determine why Pueppke chose that spot.
Pueppke’s residence is just a few miles north of the farmstead he drove to, and law enforcement had tire spikes set up at that location but never needed them, Nelson said.
Law enforcement tried to figure out whose property it was, but no one answered at the residence, Nelson said.
Sgt. Steve Swenson with the Highway Patrol said law enforcement surrounded the area and was able to clear a trailer house, the Porsche and some outbuildings. During their search of a tree grove, law enforcement found Pueppke lying flat in the tall grass near some machinery, Nelson said.
Nelson confirmed original reports were that Pueppke was mentally unstable, manic depressive and angered easily.
“That’s why we were real careful in taking our time with him, trying to find friends or relatives in case he was holed up and they could talk him out,” Nelson said.
He added that Pueppke was lucid when law enforcement found him. Nelson said Pueppke refused to speak with law enforcement, but made one comment before that, saying he sped to try to catch up with a friend on I-90.
“That’s all he told me,” Nelson said.
Testing during booking at the Davison County Jail did not find alcohol in Pueppke’s system, Nelson said.
Pueppke is charged with aggravated eluding, a felony charge that carries a maximum of two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.
Highway Patrol troopers from Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Vermillion responded to the incident, as did the Davison County Sheriff’s Office, Sanborn County Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Game, Fish and Parks.