RIVER HILLS, Wis. -- A suspected retail store theft led police on a high-speed chase before the car lost control and crashed Friday, April 12 near Good Hope Rd. and N. River Road in River Hills.
A Marshall's parking lot is where everything started. According to the Mequon Police Department, officers were dispatched to the discount store regarding a retail theft in progress around 1:19 p.m.
"I was in here, I was siting at my desk and suddenly, I heard a siren," said Pamela Oxman, a witness who saw the chaos firsthand. "All of a sudden, I saw cars zipping through the parking lot."
Once officers arrived, they tried to make contact with the suspect as he tried to leave the area in a car.
"When officers arrived, the suspect was exiting the store into his vehicle," explained Captain John Hoell of the Mequon Police Department.
The suspect drove towards officers with his vehicle, and he then made contact with an officer -- all with a toddler in the backseat of the car.
"As he was exiting his squad, walking toward the car, the car accelerated rapidly at him," said Capt. Hoell.
Oxman said the driver was beyond reckless as he fled from police.
"Erratically, that is what the guy was doing," explained Oxman.
The suspect struck the officer and pushed him across the parking lot. The suspect and vehicle then fled the scene on I-43 SB in an attempt to elude the pursuing officer.
"Majority of the pursuit is 80 miles per hour," said Capt. Hoell.
The pursuit of the suspect vehicle ended after it exited at Good Hope Rd. and crashed into a light standard, disabling the vehicle. The male driver fled on foot, but he was taken into custody by an officer a short distance from the scene of the crash. The female passenger was also taken into custody on unrelated charges and warrants for her arrest.
Police then discovered that a two-year-old child was also a passenger in the back seat of the car. The driver was transported to a nearby hospital for a leg injury, and the child was also evaluated for injuries.
For Oxman, it's a case with a simple lesson.
"Probably don't steal," said Oxman. "I think that is best. Yeah..."
The suspect was identified as a 27-year-old Milwaukee man, and the female passenger was identified as a 23-year-old Milwaukee woman. The toddler was identified as their child. Charges will be requested with the Ozaukee County District Attorney's Office, including 1st degree attempted homicide, 1st degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a motor vehicle, and eluding.
FOX6 was told the child is doing okay, and so is the officer that dodged a car coming in his direction.