Man charged in child abduction and police chase

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by John Cuoco

MENOMONEE FALLS--A 19-year-old man has been charged in a case involving child abduction and a chase that spanned several counties.

Tou Thao’s car ended up in a ditch crashing through a fence after that chase.

This was all while he had three young children ages 3, 4, and 5 in the car.

Thao is now facing seven criminal charges including attempting to flee or elude a traffic officer and operating while intoxicated-1st offense, with a minor child in the vehicle.

"It's very unsettling to think someone could just come into a house and steal the children,” said Michelle Testroete."

Testroete is still in disbelief after finding out why her typically quiet Fond du Lac neighborhood on Hawthorne Avenue was swarmed with police Monday.

"I was asking what was going on because of the amount of officer. They were doing a lot of interviewing, small chaos here," Testroete said.

Police said that it was from that neighborhood that took his girlfriends three children following a fight the two had in Oshkosh Monday afternoon.

"Immediately investigators were called in, neighboring jurisdictions were notified. Our officers were in the process of initiating the amber alert system,” said Captain Steve Klein of the Fond du Lac Police Department.

While police sprung into action the suspect was speeding down Highway 41 with the children.

"Anytime you're speeding down the highway with three young kids with a non-custodial parent you're worried. But I can’t get into specifics, but there were words exchanged at the house on Hawthorne Ave. that made us very concerned for the children's safety."

Before the worst could happen Menomonee Falls Police caught up with Thao.

He crashed and was arrested by police.

The children were not injured in the crash and arrangements were made to return them to family members.

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