Fugitive Felon Runs From OWI Arrest, Gets Caught in the Heat
Wisconsin Rapids man runs a stop sign, then runs away – and no wonder, considering he knew he would be headed back to prison.
Adam Robert Billman has made more than a few mistakes in his young life.
The 22-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man's adult criminal court record starts shortly after he turned 18 and has since continued in a litany of multiple burglary convictions, prison time, parole and bail-jumping.
As if to prove he has learned nothing yet, Billman was drunk at 2 in the afternoon Thursday, sucking on a bottle of Jagermeister with an older buddy while driving the streets of Wauwatosa.
Then Billman ran a stop sign right in front of a marked Tosa squad car.
When stopped, he jumped out of his car and ran for it, compounding his problems further by trying to break into a home to hide before officers surrounded and captured him.
Not just a routine traffic stop
The escapade began during Thursday's power failure on the north side of the city. The traffic lights were out at the intersection of West North Avenue and Menomonee River Parkway, but folding stop signs had been deployed, turning it into a four-way stop.
A patrol officer in a marked squad car said he was on the parkway and just pulling into the intersection when a car going west on North Avenue blew through the stop sign right in front of him.
He followed and pulled Billman over in the 9900 block of North, just beyond the river. He walked up to the car and spoke to Billman, who claimed he hadn't noticed the sign and thought he had the right-of-way.
The officer, though, noticed an odor of alcohol on Billman's breath and a glassy look in his eyes. He told Billman and his passenger to sit tight, then walked back to his squad car to call in a second officer.
That's when Billman and his passenger got out of the car, and Billman bolted into the woods along the river.
Officers hot-foot it after him
As other officers arrived to set up a perimeter in the area, multiple calls began to come in to the station from residents reporting the fugitive running through their yards. A resident of the 2300 block of North 102nd Street reported that he had damaged her screen porch in an apparent attempt to break in.
An officer soon spotted Billman, and he was chased and corralled in the 2300 block of North 101st St.
"It was 102 in the shade while they were doing this," noted Capt. Jeff Sutter. "I saw these guys afterward, and I said, 'Man, I hope this guy was worth it.'"
It didn't take long to learn why Billman had run. He was wanted on warrants for burglary, bail jumping and contempt of court in Wood County, all in violation of parole. His record indicates those charges are enhanced as a repeat offender.
Billman registered a .151 blood alcohol content on a preliminary test and .13 on an evidentiary test at booking for first-offense drunken driving.
Among other things, and besides maintaining sobriety, a condition of Billman's parole was that he was was to have no contact whatsoever with the man who was his passenger Thursday.
He, a 51-year-old Wisconsin Rapids man, had a record of four OWIs of his own and was also intoxicated at the time.
Police found an open bottle of Jagermeister on ice in the car.
Patch typically does not name suspects until they are criminally charged. In this case, the editor and the Wauwatosa police feel it is justified in that the warrants for Billman were issued on criminal charges already filed in Wood County Circuit Court.
The Wauwatosa police also intend to seek a charge of criminal damage to property for Billman's attempt to break into the porch at the 102nd Street residence, Sutter said.