Austin Williams

Springfield men allegedly lead troopers on ATV chase for YouTube video

Two Springfield men have been accused of riding ATVs on public streets and then leading troopers on a chase, allegedly saying they thought it would be fun and could be a YouTube video.

Austin Williams, 20, and Austin Ruetenik, 19, are charged with first degree misdemeanors of failure to comply. Trooper David Slanker said the incident started about 7:30 p.m. May 16 when he attempted to talk to the two about riding their ATVs at a high speed on the street.

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They took off when he made contact with them, the trooper alleged.

“I got behind them and activated my emergency lights and siren,” Slanker says in a report. “The two riders accelerated in excess of 55 miles per hour in a 45 miles per hour zone.”

Slanker said the two suspects exited the roadway into a field and he was unable to pursue them. Other troopers set up a perimeter around the field.

The two ATVs were spotted on Burnett Road and Sunset Avenue, court records say, and the suspects allegedly left the ATVs near there and fled on foot.

The trooper said he recognized a truck belonging to one of the two suspects because Ruetenik is his neighbor, according to court records. Ruetenik returned to the truck and was covered in mud, troopers said.

“(Ruetenik) stated that he thought it would be fun to run from the cops and put the video on YouTube,” the court records say.

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