Man accused of intentionally striking deer pleads not guilty
OZAUKEE CO. (WITI) — 29-year-old Michael Cox, the West Bend man accused of intentionally striking a deer, pleaded not guilty Tuesday, July 2nd.
The criminal complaint against Cox says just before 5:30 a.m. on April 27th, he flagged down an officer to report he had struck a deer as he was heading to fish near the We Energies power plant in Port Washington. The complaint says Cox wanted to claim the deer.
Later, that officer was contacted by We Energies officials — who said based on surveillance video, they did not believe the deer being struck was an accident.
The complaint says police, a DNR conservation warden and a witness viewed the surveillance video. That witness reported he saw the red pickup truck driven by Cox, and that Cox seemed to be attempting to spook the deer, as he flashed his high beam headlights at the deer to try to get them to move — according to the criminal complaint. The witness said Cox was also whistling at the deer — before accelerating at a high rate of speed and striking the deer, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint says a passenger in Cox’s vehicle said the striking of the deer was an accident, and claimed Cox attempted to swerve to miss the deer. However, the surveillance video does not show any attempt to do anything — other than directly hit the deer, according to officials.
The criminal complaint says when interviewing Cox, he admitted to the incident, saying striking the deer was “more intentional than not.” The complaint says Cox told officials he knew his actions were being recorded by We Energies cameras.