Alleged gas drive-off ends in car chase, injury

Aug. 24, 2009

Police say an Illinois man led officers on a car chase, broke into a local office building and injured his leg in an attempt to flee from officers after he drove away from a Wauwatosa gas station without paying for fuel last week.

James Cooley, 30, of Freeport, Ill., has been charged with felony eluding officers and is being held in the Milwaukee County jail until his arraignment hearing Aug. 31. He also is accused of violating his parole.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

About 1:30 p.m. Aug. 17, Cooley filled up his vehicle with $31.30 in gas at BP, 11417 Watertown Plank Road. He went inside the convenience store to use the bathroom and pretended to use the automated-teller machine. Then he made a run for his car and drove off, failing to stop for red lights.

An officer pulled over the vehicle, got out of his car and started walking toward Cooley, who accelerated and fled the traffic stop. A nearly one-mile car chase ended in the Milwaukee County Research Park.

Cooley then kicked in a window on the Technology Innovation Center, 10437 Innovation Drive, and ran up to the roof, where he hid until he was arrested.

He was taken to Wisconsin Heart Hospital with deep cuts in his leg and ankle.

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