A Gillette man was arrested early this morning after he reportedly fled from a traffic stop attempt east of town, crashed into a deputy’s patrol car, and fled on foot, local law enforcement authorities said Wednesday.
Anthony Kluesner, 54, has been charged with felony aggravated eluding, felony destruction of property, reckless driving, interference, and driving under suspension for his alleged involvement in a Highway 51 pursuit that began around 1:50 a.m. on Jan. 26, according to Campbell County Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds.
The pursuit reportedly began after a patrolling deputy saw a vehicle traveling below the posted speed limit near the Wyodak Power Plant on Highway 51 and followed it after the vehicle accelerated away at a high rate of speed when the deputy got behind him, Reynolds said.
In the report, the deputy recalled being unable to gain any ground on the vehicle despite accelerating to 90 mph as they approached Potter Avenue, Reynolds said, adding that the deputy was able to get a radar reading that indicated the vehicle was traveling 89 mph in a 55-mph zone.
The deputy followed the vehicle onto Potter Avenue where Kluesner came to a stop after crashing into a ditch but had to jump back into the patrol car to avoid being struck when the suspect suddenly accelerated, Reynolds said.
Kluesner allegedly fled back onto Highway 51 and turned onto the unpaved portion of Fox Park Avenue, spun out, turned around, and traveled back towards the pursuing deputy who attempted to maneuver out of the way.
The suspect vehicle collided with the rear of the patrol car, Reynolds said, adding that Kluesner continued to flee north into a nearby field and became stuck when he tried to drive over the railroad tracks, where he allegedly abandoned his vehicle and fled on foot into the Collins Heights subdivision.
He was pursued as other deputies and Gillette Police Department (GPD) officers arrived as backup, Reynolds said.
GPD Officers reportedly set up a perimeter in the area and arrested Kluesner when he tried to cross it, according to Deputy Police Chief Brent Wasson, who said that officers deployed a K9 to follow Kluesner’s trail and see if he discarded any items while on foot.
There’s no indication that anything was found, Wasson said.