Man in court after alleged threats, chase through fields
PRESTON — A man accused of stealing electronics from his mother, then threatening friends and leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase in a stolen vehicle made his initial appearance Monday in Fillmore County District Court.
Dylan Cantrell Bathke, 19, of Preston, faces one count each of motor vehicle theft, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, theft of property and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, all felonies, and one count of misdemeanor careless driving.
He remains in custody in lieu of $15,000 conditional bail, and is due back in court July 11.
The charges stem from an incident that began about 10:45 p.m. June 15, when Bathke's mother reported he'd taken a computer from her home and was planning to go to Alabama because some guys were going to kill him over a debt, the complaint says. When she called Bathke from the sheriff's office, "he sounded out of it," the report says; Bathke handed the phone to a friend who said she didn't know the computer was stolen, and agreed to return it.
The friend came to the sheriff's office with the computer, but said Bathke had jumped out of her car, saying he had guns and drugs on him and didn't want to go to prison. According to court documents, Bathke "started eating (plastic bags) of drugs," then pulled a gun and pointed it at her.
About an hour later, Bathke's mother called law enforcement to report he was outside her home. Officers established a perimeter in the area; minutes later, a truck attempted to leave the area. The person was driving erratically while turning the vehicle's headlights on and off and refused to stop for an officer.
The truck made its way to U.S. Highway 52, traveling south. At times, the vehicle was in the northbound lane and on the west shoulder, driving at speeds of about 75 mph. While attempting to negotiate a turn, the truck went into the ditch, then east through a cornfield.
The chase eventually involved three squad cars and another trip across the cornfield, court documents say, with Bathke at the wheel. Once out of the field, he allegedly rammed one squad car with the pickup, which swung around and struck the car again.
After the collision, Bathke drove back into the cornfield again, where the truck became stuck, the complaint says; Bathke was arrested a short time later.
No weapon was found.