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St. Croix County deputy arrested for OWI; sheriff “angered, embarrassed and disappointed”

St. Croix County (WQOW) – A St. Croix County sheriff’s deputy was arrested on Sunday for driving drunk.

John Shilts Jr., a deputy for more than seven years, was arrested for operating while intoxicated (OWI), 1st offense.

According to St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson, the off-duty deputy was driving southbound in the northbound lane of Highway A near the township of Richmond December 30 around 11 p.m. A working deputy was driving in the opposite direction and had to pull off the road to avoid getting hit.

Shilts was pulled over and the State Patrol came to investigate to avoid a conflict of interest. Shilts was ultimately arrested and taken to the jail where he was booked for OWI.

“It is with deep regret that this incident occurred,” said Sheriff Scott Knudson. “I am angered, embarrassed and disappointed at the actions of John Shilts Jr. Recently, St. Croix County has had several incidents involving driver impairment and motor vehicles; one was a tragedy that took the life of a young lady from Somerset. I’m aware of the response this incident on Sunday night will have from the community. We must remember that those in law enforcement are human. However, it is also imperative that these same individuals be held to a higher standard of conduct, and when mistakes are made they are handled accordingly.”

Related Story: Wrong way driver kills Somerset woman

Shilts is on paid administrative leave as the sheriff’s department conducts an internal investigation.


Clint Berge

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