Officer punched by suspect after short chase - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Officer punched by suspect after short chase


MILWAUKEE (WISN) -- A Milwaukee police officer was assaulted while trying to catch up with a man in a stolen car, police said. 

The officer is fine, and the suspect in custody.

There is a perception on the streets that Milwaukee police have a no-pursuit policy, but the chase that ended in a crash here Monday night underscores that when violent felons are involved, they're definitely being chased down.

The chase, about 12 blocks long, ended at 46th Street and Lisbon Avenue.

When Milwaukee police spotted an SUV that had been stolen in an armed carjacking five days earlier, the chase began.

"The vehicle refused to pull over and a pursuit was started by the officers, around 46th and Lisbon the vehicle crashed and after a short foot chase the officers caught up with the suspect," Milwaukee police Sgt. Timothy Gauerke said.

The 25-year-old convicted felon wasn't done yet. He is accused of punching the officer several times before he was cuffed. Police said they found heroin and cocaine in the SUV, too. 

The chase defies the perception among some on the street that Milwaukee police squad cars won't pursue suspects.

"If suspects inside have committed or are about to commit or we have knowledge to believe they are going to commit a violent felony we can pursue the vehicle with the suspects in it,' Gauerke said.

A carjacking definitely fits the bill, but still it's not without limits.

"Time of day, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and the officers really have to operate with due regard, meaning they have to operate in a safe manner to not further endanger the public. And they have to really weigh the need to apprehend the suspect at that time versus the danger to the community and the suspect themselves," Gauerke said.

The officer's injuries were minor, and he was able to return to duty the same shift.

The suspect is facing numerous charges related to the drugs, the stolen vehicle, and now, battery to a law enforcement officer.

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