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Prosecutors: Man said he ‘blacked out’ before pursuit that injured officer, struck by SUV

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Derrick Patterson-Britton

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man is accused of driving while intoxicated with drugs in his vehicle during a pursuit that left a Milwaukee police officer injured when he was struck by the suspect’s SUV.

Derrick Patterson-Britton, 29, faces the following charges:

  • Operator flee/elude officer — bodily harm or property damage, habitual criminality repeater
  • First degree recklessly endangering safety, habitual criminality repeater, use of a dangerous weapon
  • OWI, second offense

According to a criminal complaint, early on March 28, around 3:15 a.m., police spotted an Acura SUV parked illegally in a handicapped parking space in the Walgreens parking lot near 76th and Capitol. A citation was issued and placed on the vehicle, and as the officer was leaving, the driver exited the store and entered the SUV.

The Acura followed the officer closely, and the officer accelerated “in an attempt to create distance to avoid a conflict.” At one point, the complaint said the Acura drove through a red light and began to swerve. “Due to the dangerous driving,” the officer activated the squads light sand sirens in an attempt to stop the Acura, which fled at a high rate of speed near Fond du Lac and Roosevelt.

A pursuit ensued, and the complaint said in the area near 27th and Burleigh, the Acura began circling through the area — with the officer briefly losing sight of it in an alley between 24th and 25th Street. The Acura stopped near 24th Place and Burleigh, and the driver made eye contact with the officer for about five seconds before revving the engine and driving up over the curb onto the sidewalk — directly toward the officer, who was struck by the SUV at approximately 10 miles per hour.

The complaint said the officer rolled up onto the hood of the SUV, and then rolled off, hitting the ground. His firearm was knocked out of his hand. He was taken to the hospital for medical clearance.

The SUV fled — with another officer in pursuit. That pursuit continued until the SUV struck a curb, disabling the front passenger tire near Hopkins and Villard. The driver, identified as Patterson-Britton, was taken into custody after the five-mile pursuit.

The complaint said officers observed a strong odor of alcohol coming from him, and he informed a sergeant that he was intoxicated. He was taken to the hospital for a blood draw. The complaint noted he was convicted of OWI, first offense in May 2017. He was convicted of possession of THC, second or subsequent offense in March 2018.

A search of the vehicle revealed seven grams of THC, and a white chunky substance that later tested positive for cocaine (3.09 grams).

Patterson-Britton was interviewed, and the complaint said he admitted he was driving the SUV during the pursuit and said he “blacked out after leaving Walgreens.” He said he drank glasses of vodka, “too many to count” before driving, and admitted the crack cocaine in the vehicle was his.

The complaint said Patterson-Britton was required to use an ignition interlock device at the time of this incident.

Patterson-Britton made his initial appearance in court on Tuesday, April 2. The defense pleaded not guilty to the third charge, OWI, second offense. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for April 11. Cash bond was set at $20,000.

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