An Illinois man who drove through the downtown Beloit Holiday Lighted Parade in November 2019 has been sentenced to prison time as part of a plea agreement with the Rock County District Attorney’s Office, according to Rock County Court records.
Curtis L. Metz, 41, of Orangeville, pleaded guilty to fifth-offense operating while intoxicated, felony fleeing and first-degree recklessly endangering safety and was sentenced by Judge John Wood to four years in prison and five years of post-release supervision for driving through the parade Nov. 29, 2019. Four additional counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety were dismissed but read into the court record.
Metz also had his driver’s license revoked for three years with a requirement to install an ignition interlock device for three years after his driving privileges are restored. He was also granted 224 days of sentence credit, court records show. Metz is eligible for a substance abuse counseling program while incarcerated.
His sentencing follows months of being on the run from authorities after a missed court appearance in October 2020. Metz was taken into custody in Clark County, Indiana, on July 27 and later transported to Rock County.
As previously reported by Adams Publishing Group, Metz was asked by Beloit police officers to step out of his vehicle after police noticed signs of possible impairment with Metz briefly stopping at Grand Avenue and Short Street before fleeing.
Police estimated there were between 1,000 and 2,000 people along the parade route on Grand Avenue in downtown Beloit when Metz drove through the parade route in the opposite direction of parade traffic.
Bystanders cited in the criminal complaint said Metz’s vehicle came within inches of striking a group of children who were attempting to get candy that was thrown from the parade floats.
Metz drove his truck into the barricade near the intersection of Grand Avenue and Fourth Street before speeding at around 45 mph down West Grand Avenue. Even after Beloit police deployed stop sticks to stop the vehicle, he continued to flee and was later taken into custody after his truck was pinned between trees on Prairie Avenue.