Four teenagers charged in high-speed van chase

CREATED May 14, 2012 - UPDATED: May 14, 2012

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  • DOT camera picture of the finish of a chase on I-94 in Kenosha County

MILWAUKEE - Four teenagers were charged Monday with stealing a day care van and leading authorities on a high-speed chase through southeast Wisconsin last week.

The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office charged Dvarion M. Beamon, 17, with operating a vehicle without the owner's consent and attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer.

He is accused of stealing a Chrysler Town and Country minivan from ABC Daycare near 60th St. and Center St. in Milwaukee last Tuesday.

If convicted on both charges, he faces a maximum sentence of nine years, six months in prison and $20,000 in fines.

Jarmel L. Gatewood, 19, Darrell K. Thompson, 18, and Fred R. Gillespie, 17, were charged with misdemeanor counts of operating a vehicle without the owner's consent as knowing passengers.  They each face maximum sentences of nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

A 16 year-old juvenile in the van was also taken into custody but was not charged as an adult.

According to a criminal complaint, Milwaukee Police officers spotted "a white Chrysler minivan full of apparent burglars who were trying to force entry into homes."

They attempted to pull the van over near 60th St. and Center St. at about 9:50 last Wednesday morning, "but the van accelerated and led several marked police squads on a high-speed chase through various residential Milwaukee neighborhoods (and mid-morning traffic) which lasted approximately 17 minutes before it was terminated for safety reasons."

Just a few minutes later, a Menomonee Falls police officer found the van leaving a gas station and the chase resumed, entering I-94 and reaching speeds of up to 85 miles per hour.

The chase "involved numerous squads and several attempts to deploy 'stop sticks' before the stolen van's left front tire was finally deflated and the van stopped on southbound I-94 at County Highway C in Kenosha County."

The five suspects surrendered on the side of the freeway and were immediately taken into custody.