Wagner man nabbed after chase
A Wagner man was arrested Tuesday morning after a police chase that reached 110 mph and included an officer punching through the suspect's broken window.
Douglas County Sheriff Jon Coler and Deputy Gene Niehus apprehended Paul Greger, 38, in a field along U.S. Highway 18 near Delmont. State Trooper Aaron Hanson assisted in the chase and arrest.
Wagner Police Chief Tim Simonsen said Greger had not been charged as of Tuesday afternoon, but he will likely be charged with aggravated eluding, reckless driving and driving without a license. The aggravated eluding charge is a felony and carries a maximum penalty upon conviction of two years in prison, a $4,000 fine or both.
The chase started after Wagner Police Chief Tim Simonsen stopped Greger's vehicle on Front Avenue on the edge of the Wagner city limits.
"I tried to stop him because I knew he had a warrant for his arrest," Simonsen said. "I knocked on his window, but the door was locked and he took off north on 395th Avenue."
The chase escalated to speeds between 80 and 110 mph, Simonsen said. Greger was wanted on a warrant out of Charles Mix County for a 24/7 Sobriety program bond violation, he added.
At one point, Greger's vehicle entered a ditch and stopped. Simonsen approached on foot.
"I punched my hand through the driver's side window and tried to get to him," Simonsen said. "But he put the car in reverse and backed up. The window was already broken but covered with tape."
Simonsen said he was not injured when he punched through the glass.
Simonsen chased Greger mainly on gravel roads from Charles Mix County into Bon Homme County and into Hutchinson County near Tripp when he finally called off the chase due to its reckless nature.
"The roads started getting muddy and sloppy, and he was still driving 80 mph," Simonsen said.
Later Tuesday afternoon, Charles Mix County dispatch alerted Douglas County law enforcement of a person, later identified as Greger, walking west along Highway 18 near Delmont. When Coler and Niehus approached Greger, he ran across the highway through a tree belt and into a cornfield.
Coler said a farmer was driving by with his 4-wheeler as they approached the field and allowed them to borrow it.
"We went out into the cornfield on the 4-wheeler and once we got up to him, he just kind of gave up," Coler said.
Greger is being held at the Charles Mix County Jail in Lake Andes on the 24/7 Sobriety program bond of $5,000, but another bond may be put in place.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs was also involved in the pursuit.