MILWAUKEE — A 21-year-old Milwaukee man is charged in connection with a hit-and-run crash that happened on the city’s south side on Christmas Day 2018. The accused is Romeal Oquin — and he faces the following charges:
- Vehicle operator flee/elude officer, resulting in great bodily harm
- Hit and run – great bodily harm
According to the criminal complaint, a police sergeant received a call about a suspicious gray SUV with no license plates on S. Mound Street in the Bay View neighborhood. When the officer got to the neighborhood, he spotted the vehicle in question and turned around to get a closer look. At that point, the complaint said the car began to accelerate.
The officer tried to catch up to the vehicle, but lost it temporarily. Moments later, the vehicle was spotted on S. Kinnickinnic Avenue heading northbound. The officer activated lights and sirens in pursuit of the SUV.
During the pursuit, a vehicle pulled onto Kinnickinnic from Maple Street and was struck by the fleeing gray SUV. The driver of the SUV got out of the vehicle and ran from the scene. There were still two passengers in the SUV.
The driver of the car that was struck works for the Milwaukee County Transit System (MCTS). He suffered severe injuries — including punctured lungs, rib fractures, a head injury and internal bleeding. He was on life support until just a few days ago.
One of the passengers in the gray SUV identified the driver who fled the scene as Oquin. The passenger told police that Oquin stated, “Look at the boys” — referring to a marked police squad driving behind them. The passenger then stated Oquin “increased his speed and started driving very fast down Kinnickinnic. (The passenger) stated she told him to slow dow, but he didn’t.”
Investigators recovered data from the SUV involved in this incident. It showed the SUV “was traveling at approximately 89 mph just five seconds before the impact. At the time of the impact, the Chevy Equinox was traveling at 58 mph. The posted speed limit at the location of the crash is 30 mph.”
The complaint indicated video surveillance from a Milwaukee County Transit System bus showed Oquin getting onto a bus about a half-mile from the scene of the crash. He “appears to be injured,” the complaint said.
The complaint also noted that Oquin “does not have a valid driver’s license.”
Oquin pleaded not guilty to the charges against him on Tuesday, Jan. 29. He is due back in court on Feb. 6.