Police: Pawn shop receipt, hat among evidence tying Baraboo man to Lodi crash site
Evidence against a 27-year-old Baraboo man who fled police and escaped arrest after crashing a vehicle into a tree near Lodi includes the receipt for a birthday pawn shop purchase and the maroon police say he dropped near the scene.
Sauk Prairie Police arrested Jesse Forston on Sept. 4 and turned him over to Columbia County authorities days after an Aug. 30 incident in which Forston reportedly fled the crash site on foot.
In Columbia County Circuit Court, he faces a felony charge of eluding and misdemeanors of obstructing, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a revoked driver’s license.
Prosecutors filed formal charges in a criminal complaint Oct. 24, but no court activity had been scheduled in the case as of Friday.
According to the complaint and a press release from the sheriff’s office in September, a deputy reported noticing an unoccupied 2003 Ford Expedition parked front-end first in an unmarked field along Highway 188 near Harmon Road in the town of West Point at about 1 a.m. Aug. 30. The driver’s side window was down and there were no keys in the vehicle. The same vehicle was later seen at about 2 a.m. on Richards Road near County Highway V in the town of Lodi.
As the deputy followed the vehicle, the driver allegedly turn off his taillights and headlights as he turned on Red Cedar Drive. He then went through a ditch before driving back onto the road. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver sped away reaching speeds of approximately 75 mph through residential areas.
The driver then turned into a driveway of a residence and continued into the grass past the house before striking a large pine tree and coming to a stop -- the rear tires of the unoccupied vehicle still spinning and the engine running when the deputy arrived at the scene, the complaint states.
In the vehicle the deputy found a black case containing needles, a blue rubber tourniquet and multiple plastic bags containing traces of heroin. The complaint states the deputy found a pawn shop receipt inside the vehicle and next to the vehicle discovered a maroon hat.
Police said during their investigation, they obtained an image of Forston making the pawn shop purchase while wearing what authorities believe to be the same maroon hat found at the crash site. This purchase occurred on Aug. 28, Forston’s 27th birthday, according to court records.
Forston also is pictured in the screen saver of a cell phone left inside the vehicle, according to the complaint. Forston reportedly acquired the crashed vehicle Aug. 27 from an individual he paid $1,000 but whom never received the rest of the money owed.
The complaint notes Forston was convicted of felony manufacture/delivery of heroin in Sauk County in 2016. He faces up to three years in prison for felony eluding band could receive up to four additional years for the past felony conviction.