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Callaway man, out on bail, accused of car theft, police chase

A Callaway man accused of multiple assaults on a girlfriend allegedly blew off a court hearing on Monday and stole a Chevy trailblazer instead, leading law enforcement officers on a chase that ended in his arrest.

Paul Arthur Wichmann, 43, of 114 Wisconsin St., Callaway was out on bail after being charged in Becker County District Court with felony first-degree burglary -- assault, and felony domestic assault.

He is accused of multiple assaults over a several-day period on a live-in girlfriend.

He appeared Dec. 1 before District Judge Peter Irvine, who set cash bail at $4,000 or bond at $20,000. He was to have appeared again in court Monday, but did not show up.

According to a news release from the Becker County Sheriff's Department:

At about 5 p.m. on Monday, Becker County Sheriff's Investigator Kathy Nguyen attempted to stop a white Chevrolet Trailblazer as it traveled northbound on Highway 59 north of Detroit Lakes.

A vehicle matching that description had been reported stolen earlier in Detroit Lakes.

After Nguyen activated the squad car's flashing lights and siren, the Trailblazer sped up and begin passing other vehicles.

It eventually traveled into Mahnomen County, where deputies and tribal police officers joined the pursuit.

The Trailblazer eventually turned northbound onto Highway 113, and eventually drove back into Becker County. Officers used squad cars to stop the vehicle near the intersection with Becker County Road 35.

The driver, allegedly Wichmann, exited the Trailblazer, and was arrested immediately. The vehicle was the same one reported stolen earlier.

He was taken to the Becker County Jail and remains in custody pending new charges regarding the alleged car theft and chase.

According to court records:

On Nov. 26, tribal police officers were called to a Callaway residence on a report of a domestic assault. The homeowner told them that another woman had come to her residence about 11 a.m. that day to escape constant assaults by Wichmann.

Throughout the day, Wichmann called the victim on her cell phone, and finally about 4 p.m. he allegedly went to the homeowner's house, kicked open a locked door, dragged out the victim, and punched her in the face.

The victim told officers that she had been in a relationship with Wichmann for 16 months and they had lived together in Callaway since July.

He got out of the Clay County Jail on Nov. 20, and allegedly begin to assault her the next day and continued to assault her on multiple occasions for the next five days.

An officer observed multiple bruises on her body, including on her face, chest, arms and legs.

The assaults were allegedly for things like her failing to wake him up early enough one day.

Wichmann allegedly would not let the victim go to a doctor's appointment at one point during that period because he didn't want anyone to see the bruises.

He has two prior assault convictions in North Dakota, in 1999 and 2000.