MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee prosecutors filed a dozen charges Tuesday against a man suspected of leading police on a high-speed chase that killed an officer when the vehicle he was a passenger in rolled several times in the past week.
Prosecutors said in charging documents the chase reached a speed of almost 100 km / h (161 km / hour), which is 40 km over the speed limit in the area, shortly before the police lost control of their patrol car Thursday afternoon. A witness told investigators he saw the police vehicle to flip about 20 times before it landed on the roof. The officer killed in the crash, 23-year-old Charles Irvine Jr., was thrown from the car, the witness said.
Irvine’s partner, Matthew Schulze, 36, sustained a concussion, broken ribs and a laceration above one eye.
Criminal charges against the 28-year-old Ladell William Harrison, whom he the police, resulting in the death and injuries. Harrison was also the target of an investigation into drug dealing dating back to December, prosecutors said. He faced several charges for allegedly manufacturing and selling drugs, including the provision of the fentanyl that led to someone’s death in a suburb of Milwaukee.
Until last fall, Milwaukee police were only allowed to chase drivers suspected of committing a violent crime — a directive in place in 2010 after four bystanders were killed during the three separate police chases. Former police chief Edward Flynn reviewed the policy under pressure from the Milwaukee Common Council and the members of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, which responds to the public outrage over reckless drivers.
Harrison was not aware that the fact that the policy was changed, according to the charging documents.
“I thought you could not continue vehicles, unless a criminal offense,” prosecutors say he told detectives after his arrest.
Irvine and Shulze tried to pull over Harrison’s Volkswagen Passat after the check of the vehicle license plates, while stopped at a traffic light, according to charging documents. Researchers say that Harrison fled officers after they turned on their team lights for him to stop.
Harrison told detectives he fled because “he was afraid because he was carrying a semi-automatic pistol in the car and he was not supposed to be driving because of his revoked driver’s license status,” according to the prosecutors.
Officers were able to find Harrison on the basis of Irvine and Shulze broadcast before the crash. In the last broadcast for the uk, she heard the passing of the Passat’s license plate for “the sound of screeching tires can be heard,” the charging documents say.
Irvine’s funeral is Saturday.
This story has been corrected to indicate that the crash happened Thursday, not Friday.