ELLSWORTH – An Ellsworth man is facing several charges, including a seventh OWI, after an early morning driving complaint that ended with him tussling with an officer in his front yard.
Michael Lyle Girard, 56, posted a $25,000 signature bond Nov. 2 on felony OWIseventh, felony bail jumping, resisting or obstructing an officer, possession of THC and possess drug paraphernalia charges. If convicted, he faces up to 12.5 years in prison and/or fines up to $25,000.
According to the complaint: Pierce County Sheriff’s Officer received a driving complaint at 6:59 a.m. Monday, Nov. 1 from a motorist traveling eastbound on Highway 10 near County Road J in the town of Trimbelle that was following a Chevrolet weaving all over the road. The motorist reported the vehicle had crossed the fog and center lines several times and appeared to be traveling between 55 and 70 mph. Near the David Motel, the vehicle nearly struck a guardrail. From the license plate, the vehicle’s owner was identified as Girard.
An Ellsworth police officer responded to Girard’s residence just as Girard exited the driver’s side of a Chevrolet Malibu. As the officer approached and asked Girard to stop, Girard walked quickly to the home’s front door and attempted to get inside, but it was locked. He continued to try to enter a door code to get in while the officer asked him to stop. As the officer grabbed Girard’s wrist, Girard began banging on the window. As the officer pulled him off the porch and attempted to handcuff him, Girard was resisting and screaming. In the scuffle, both men fell to the ground and the officer’s body camera was knocked off his uniform and broken. A woman came out of the residence and began screaming at both the officer and Girard, but then told Girard r Pas hhpd t waj ft to stop making it worse. A Pierce County deputy arrived and assisted in getting Girard secured in a squad. The officer had a small bleeding wound on his right hand. Girard’s left pinky was also bleeding, but he declined an EMS evaluation.
Police found a 750 ML bottle of Fireball in the car, which was about half gone. The car also smelled heavily of marijuana. Inside the car, police found a green leafy substance that smelled of marijuana, a glass smoking device, a grinder filled with the plant material and zig zag papers commonly used for rolling joints.
Girard was swaying back and forth and had bloodshot, glassy eyes. He also smelled strongly of intoxicants. Police took him to the Pierce County Jail garage to perform field sobriety tests due to the cold weather, which he failed. He refused a breath test, so a search warrant was obtained for a blood draw at River Falls Area Hospital.
Girard has six previous OWI convictions, stretching from 1991 in Florida to 2014 in Milwaukee County. He is scheduled to next appear in Pierce County Circuit Court at 1 p.m. Dec. 7 for a preliminary hearing.