Chippewa Falls (WQOW) – A man is behind bars, but not before stealing a vehicle, leading police on a chase and staying in a Chippewa Falls hotel with a gun.
According to Chippewa Falls police, on Monday, Thomas Harding Jr. stole a vehicle in Lake Hallie. Shortly thereafter saw his ex-girlfriend near Highway X, ran her vehicle off the road and jumped on her car.
A state trooper responded and a brief chase began. Police could not catch him.
The stolen vehicle was later found at 29 Pines but Harding was nowhere to be found.
On Tuesday morning around 8, the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office was notified Harding was staying in a room at the AmericInn in Chippewa Falls and he was armed with a 40 caliber handgun.
Harding sent a photo to his ex-girlfriend of himself holding the gun to his head.
The Eau Claire SWAT team along with the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Office and Chippewa Falls Police Department responded to the hotel and removed other hotel guests.
Harding eventually came out of the room but was not cooperative with police.
He was eventually taken into custody at 10:15 a.m.
A 40 caliber semi automatic pistol was found in the hotel along with meth and drug paraphernalia.
Harding was already scheduled to be in court Tuesday at 1:15 p.m. for stalking and harassing his ex-girlfriend.
Police are now recommending the following charges:
- Felony Fleeing
- Felony Bail Jumping
- Reckless Driving
- Operating a Motor Vehicle Without Owner’s Consent
- Possession of Meth
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia