‘Didn’t want to go to jail:’ Man with revoked license charged in Greenfield pursuit caught on camera

Salvador Sotelo

GREENFIELD — A Milwaukee man is facing charges in connection with a wild pursuit caught on camera in Greenfield on April 1. Prosecutors said he should never have been behind the wheel — because his license was revoked.

Salvador Sotelo, 20, faces two felonies and a misdemeanor:

  • Second degree recklessly endangering safety
  • Operator flee/elude officer — bodily harm or property damage
  • Operating while revoked, revocation due to alcohol/controlled substance/refusal

According to a criminal complaint, on April 1, a Greenfield police officer on patrol near Howard and Forest Home observed a vehicle with a rear license plate that appeared to be scribbled out with a marker. The officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which initially stopped — pulled up onto a curb near Forest Home and Plainfield. Soon though, the vehicle reversed as the officer yelled for the driver to stop. The vehicle took off — traveling over a grassy median — rapidly speeding away. The officer began pursuing the vehicle westbound on Forest Home. The officer estimated speeds at 65 miles per hour to 80 miles per hour.

Greenfield police pursuit (April 1)

Greenfield police pursuit (April 1)

Greenfield police pursuit (April 1)

Greenfield police pursuit (April 1)

Greenfield police pursuit (April 1)

The complaint said the driver swerved across both lanes of traffic with the officer following closely behind — in an apparent attempt to avoid a PIT maneuver. It also sped through a red light at Coldspring Road — causing another vehicle to quickly move to the right to avoid a collision. The complaint said the driver narrowly maneuvered between two stopped vehicles near 76th Street at speeds believed to be over 70 miles per hour.

The vehicle crashed into a stopped vehicle near 84th and Layton. The driver of that vehicle wasn’t hurt.

Greenfield police pursuit (April 1)

The complaint said the driver of the suspect vehicle, Sotelo, attempted to run, but “relented when he was ordered to stop.” He was taken into custody and was searched for weapons and/or contraband, and the complaint said he asked a sergeant “to be more gentle with him and give him his respect as he is a human being.” Prosecutors said Sotelo initially claimed he wasn’t the driver, but admitted he was when the sergeant said he saw him exit the suspect vehicle.

Sotelo was interviewed, and prosecutors said he told investigators he fled the traffic stop “because he knew his license was revoked and he didn’t want to go to jail.” He said he was swerving while he was being chased “because when the Milwaukee Police Department chases, they will often terminate the pursuits due to the reckless behavior, and he knew the officer would have a difficult time performing a PIT maneuver if he was swerving.” He said he “took a turn too fast,” leading to the crash.

The complaint said Sotelo’s driving privileges had been revoked due to OWI in June 2016.

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