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Dallas resident sentenced to 20 years in prison for shootout with deputies near Ridgeland

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A 34-year-old Dallas man involved in a shootout with law enforcement officers near Ridgeland in June of 2014 has been sentenced to 20 years in state prison and 10 years of probation.

Jared Brendel appeared before Judge Michael Bitney October 20 with his attorney, Daniel Chapman, for a sentencing hearing.

Brendel pleaded guilty in August to two felony counts of first degree recklessly endangering safety and one felony count of a felon in possession of a firearm.

Brendel was accused of leading Barron County deputies on a high-speed chase June 3, 2014, that ended in a shootout with Barron County deputies and Dunn County deputies near the intersection of 1370th Avenue and 530th Street, a little more than halfway between state Highway 64 and Ridgeland.

Barron County deputies were looking for Brendel in connection with a high-speed chase that had occurred in May of 2014. The day prior to the shootout with deputies in June, Brendel was seen outside of a home south of Dallas with a gun. Deputies began looking for Brendel and considered him to be armed and dangerous.

When Brendel was in the high-speed chase, he fired at and hit a moving squad car while he was driving a speeding vehicle, Dunn County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Maki told the court during the sentencing hearing October 20.

Brendel was aiming to shoot a deputy and to hit the car, he said.

“Fortunately, no one was hit,” Maki said, noting that by the time the high-speed chase was over, Brendel’s car was full of bullet holes.

Brendel has a lengthy record with 14 prior convictions, including convictions for methamphetamine and mistreating animals causing death, Maki said.

The defendant has served time in jail and in prison, has been put on probation three times and has had his probation revoked three times and is still committing crimes, he said.

Brendel was involved in stealing several vehicles, driving off without paying for gasoline, disorderly conduct for trying to run his girlfriend off the road, and driving at speeds of more than one hundred miles per hour while fleeing deputies, Maki said, adding that Brendel also was involved with stealing firearms and pointing a pistol at several people.

Brendel has threatened people, terrorized people and threatened to shoot people, he said.

“The seriousness of this offense is extremely high,” Maki said.

The defendant is addicted to methamphetamine and started using the drug when he was 20. He was sober for seven years, but came back home and started using drugs again, Maki said.

“Clearly there is a need to protect the public,” he said.


Chapman, Brendel’s attorney, agreed with Maki’s assessment of Brendel’s crimes.

The act of picking up a gun and firing it at cars with people inside requires long-term incarceration, Chapman said.

In the pre-sentence investigation report, Brendel’s personality is described as being a risk-taker and impulsive, he said.

If Brendel is incarcerated for 20 years, he will not be using methamphetamine, and when he gets out of prison in his 50s, he will have been sober for many years, and the community will be safe then, Chapman said.

The PSI also states that Brendel shows a lack of remorse, but Chapman said he thought that was “unfair.”

Brendel understands that it is his own behavior that “got him where he is,” and he does not consider it “justified” or “worth it,” Chapman said.

Brendel is currently incarcerated at the Green Bay Correctional Institution, is employed in the kitchen, and enjoys and takes pride in his work, he said.

Brendel accepts the situation and wants to move forward in a positive way, Chapman said.


Brendel also addressed the court and turned to look at the law enforcement officers in the courtroom.

“I’m sorry for what happened,” he said, adding that he also wanted to apologize to his parents.

In addition, Brendel said he knows methamphetamine is addictive and that he must move forward.

“Everything is a blessing,” he said, noting that he is still alive, he has a daughter, and he can call his parents and talk to them.

“I’m lucky,” he said.

Law enforcement

The defendant’s conduct was very serious, Judge Bitney said.

Brendel nearly took the lives of dedicated law enforcement officers who have families and who are working to protect the public, he said.

Law enforcement officers and the jobs they do “largely go unappreciated,” Judge Bitney said.

No one was injured, “but not because you didn’t try,” he said.

The episode has been characterized as an attempted “suicide by cop,” but Judge Bitney said if Brendel had truly intended to commit suicide, he could have held out the gun and pointed it but not fired a shot.

Brendel “fired multiple times,” he said, adding that Brendel had “hit moving targets while in motion” and that his intent was to “kill or hurt officers.”

The Brendel case includes two dozen “read in” charges that were both charged and uncharged, Judge Bitney noted.

It is not an exaggeration to say “you were terrorizing the community. You terrorized a lot of people,” he said.

Brendel has a significant criminal record and has been given prior opportunities for rehabilitation and sobriety, but it “did not last,” Judge Bitney said.

Better vs. bitter

Judge Bitney said he was glad to see that Brendel is taking pride in his work at Green Bay Correctional and that while he could be holding his own “pity party,” he is instead choosing to have a positive outlook.

“I hope you continue to take pride in what you are doing … I hope you come out better rather than bitter,” he said.

Judge Bitney said he was deeply concerned that Brendel had tortured and mutilated animals.

People who harm animals often go on to commit worse crimes, he said.

The PSI indicated Brendel has no remorse, but the apology in court “is a start,” Judge Bitney said.


Judge Bitney sentenced Brendel to 10 years of initial confinement on each of the two counts of recklessly endangering safety to be served consecutive to each other for a total of 20 years in prison, along with five years of probation on each count for a total of ten years of probation.

On the charge of a felon being in possession of a firearm, Judge Bitney sentenced Brendel to five years in prison and five years of probation to be served concurrent to the sentences for recklessly endangering safety.

Judge Bitney also ordered that Brendel is not eligible for the Challenge Incarceration Program or substance abuse programs, ordered him to pay court costs, pay the DNA surcharge, to submit a DNA sample, and as part of the extended supervision, to remain sober and to have no contact with any of the victims or their families.

Brendel also was ordered to pay $5,322 in restitution.

Brendel currently is serving a two-year prison sentence on felony counts of a felon being in possession of a firearm and a fourth offense in five years of operating a vehicle with a restricted controlled substance for an incident that occurred in March of 2013.

Since Brendel will be incarcerated for an extended period of time, Chapman said that Brendel was asking to have his prison wages be used to pay restitution but that any gifts of money from his family remain in his possession.

Judge Bitney ordered that Brendel’s prison wages be used to pay restitution but that any cash gifts the defendant receives will be exempt.