CHIPPEWA FALLS — A 27-year-old man who was already facing a stalking charge allegedly stole a vehicle in Lake Hallie on Monday, located his ex-girlfriend, and ran her car off the road, according to the Chippewa Falls Police Department.
Thomas B. Harding, 18334 50th Ave., was located by a Wisconsin State Patrol officer shortly after the incident. A short chase began, but Harding fled the scene in the stolen car; it was later located at 29 Pines restaurant.
At 8 a.m. Tuesday, the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office was notified that Harding was in a room at the AmericInn in Chippewa Falls and was armed with a 40 Cal. handgun. Harding sent a photograph to his ex-girlfriend of himself holding the gun to his head.
The Eau Claire Regional SWAT team was activated. Officers from the Chippewa County Sheriff's Office and the Chippewa Falls Police Department responded to the AmericInn to isolate Harding and assist with removing other hotel guests from the area. While SWAT was on scene, Harding exited the room without a weapon in-hand but was not cooperative. After a brief struggle Harding was taken into custody at 10:15 a.m. A 40 cal. semi-automatic pistol was located in the hotel room along with methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.
No one was injured during the incident. Charges are being referred to the Chippewa County District Attorney's office include fleeing, bail jumping, reckless driving, operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Harding appeared in court at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday, where he was supposed to enter a plea on the prior stalking charge. That case has now been delayed because of the new arrest, court records state. He will now have a competency hearing on May 14.