Posted on 05/11/2021

Date: 5/11/21
Case: Pursuit 21-15616
Authority: Lieutenant Tim Kemps

A 34-year-old City of Milwaukee man remains in custody in the Washington County Jail and is facing charges of 4th offense OWI, OWI causing great bodily harm, fleeing, and 1st degree reckless endangering safety charges after an incident that began in the Town of Polk on May 9th.

A Washington County sheriff’s deputy on patrol observed a car parked on the side of STH 60 near Hillside Road in the Town of Polk around midnight with their hazard lights on.

The deputy stopped to see if the motorist needed any assistance. Upon making contact, the deputy saw that the driver appeared to be passed out in the lap of an adult female passenger. A second deputy observed a one-year-old who was sleeping, lying down in the backseat of the car, unrestrained.

Deputies also learned that the driver was wanted by the United States Marshal's Office on outstanding weapons charges and had several prior OWI convictions.

Deputies re-approached the car and asked the driver to step out of the car. The driver refused and immediately fled in the car at a high rate of speed.

Based on the fact that there was a small unrestrained child in the car as well as another passenger, the deputies made the immediate decision to not pursue the car in hopes that the driver would slow down and reduce the risk to the passengers. A deputy that was in the area observed the suspect vehicle traveling at around 100mph even though police were not chasing him. As the suspect vehicle entered the Village of Jackson on STH 60, the suspect failed to negotiate a roundabout and crashed into a marshy area. The suspect then fled the car on foot leaving his passenger critically injured in the car, as well as the unrestrained infant.

An arriving deputy was able to deploy one of our agency's drones just minutes after the crash and quickly located the suspect utilizing the drone’s infra-red technology.

The suspect still refused to comply and come out of the marsh. With assistance from the Germantown Police Department K9 Unit, the suspect eventually surrendered without further incident to sheriff’s deputies.

The female passenger and her infant son were transported by Jackson Rescue to a local hospital. Miraculously, the infant was uninjured and released from the hospital. The adult passenger remains hospitalized with serious injuries as a result of the crash.

The car accident remains under investigation by the Village of Jackson Police.

Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis spoke about the important decisions that his deputies encounter on a daily basis and how appreciative he is of their efforts. “In this case, the deputy was stopping out to do his job and provide help to someone in need, and moments later they are having to make split-second decisions based on the information they have at the time; the decisions they make have the potential to have long-lasting repercussions.”

“These officers recognized the need to mitigate the risk to the passengers, especially an unrestrained baby, and not push this suspect to drive any more reckless than he already was, even if it meant allowing him to temporarily escape. They monitored the suspect from a safe distance which allowed them to render aid to the injured shortly after the crash and utilized technology to quickly locate the suspect. In the end, the suspect’s actions alone showed utter disregard for precious human life, including a defenseless child. He will now face the consequences.”