A Chippewa Falls man accused of leading area police on several high-speed chases this summer was convicted of multiple offenses Monday. He was eventually arrested after a standoff with law enforcement at his home in Chippewa Falls.
Kane R. Berg, 35, 920 Water St., pleaded guilty in Chippewa County Court to fleeing an officer, second-degree recklessly endangering safety, OWI-4th offense with a child in the car, battery to law enforcement, felon in possession of a firearm, possession of meth, operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent, theft and criminal damage to property.
Berg, who appeared in person in court, has been incarcerated in the Chippewa County Jail since he was arrested Aug. 15 on a $100,000 cash bond. He didn’t speak at the hearing.
Judge Ben Lane ordered a pre-sentence investigation and set the sentencing date for May 10.
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A warrant for Berg’s arrest was issued July 6.
The Chippewa Falls Police Department and the Eau Claire County Regional SWAT team arrested Berg at his home Aug. 15 after a standoff there that included him throwing fireworks at officers and setting the house on fire.
Police had been searching for Berg for several months; officers performed a raid on a home on the south side of the city July 26 after receiving information he was likely there.
According to police reports, officers received a tip at 11:21 a.m. Aug. 15 that Berg was allegedly pointing a handgun at a female during a verbal disagreement at his home. With the assistance of another person, the woman was able to leave the home and call 911. A Chippewa County deputy happened to be traveling on Water Street and was flagged down. Officers quickly set up a perimeter around the house.
“Investigators were able to verify the above information and applied for a search warrant,” said Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm in a press release. “Due to the danger posed by Kane Berg, nearby residents were requested to leave or shelter in place and barricades were placed to detour traffic.”
The upstairs tenant was not at home, but her dog was there. No one, other than Berg, was believe to be in the downstairs apartment, Kelm said.
“Officers were aware of Kane Berg’s violent history, including possession of weapons and threats to use weapons including against law enforcement,” Kelm said. “As a result, the determination was made to use the Eau County Regional SWAT team to safely execute the warrant. Prior to the execution of the search warrant, officers attempted to call Kane Berg to ask him to come out and voluntarily turn himself in, however that call was not answered.”
At approximately 5:50 p.m., members of the SWAT team arrived at 920 Water St to serve the search warrant. Loud verbal commands asking Berg to peacefully surrender were given over the SWAT vehicle loudspeaker interspersed with use of the siren. This continued for approximately 10-15 minutes. Receiving no response, the SWAT vehicle’s ram was used to push open the front door.
At that time SWAT officers reported a suspect in the upstairs throwing items out of the window, including fireworks.
Immediately after this SWAT officers reported white smoke coming from one of the second story windows. Chippewa Falls Fire & EMS was alerted. SWAT officers reported that the smoke was increasing and turning black, indicating the residence was on fire. A short time later a male subject jumped out of the second story window and fell to the ground. The male was identified as Berg. He fled westbound on foot from the residence.
The Chippewa Falls K-9 unit, Leo, was deployed and swiftly apprehended Berg. He was handcuffed and evaluated by EMS. He was initially transported to a medical facility for smoke inhalation, not due to any injuries that occurred during his capture. He was later moved to the Chippewa County Jail.
As soon as Berg was taken into custody Chippewa Falls Fire & EMS along with other area fire fighters responded and started to fight the fire. Firefighters were able to rescue the dog, Louis, from the upstairs apartment and turned him over to his owner.
Throwback Time Capsule: Explore the history of Chippewa County
Each Saturday, the Chippewa Area History Center showcases a piece of local history in the Herald. The Area History Center at 123 Allen St., has multiple rooms of displays about Chippewa County history and genealogy.
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