MILWAUKEE -- A 39-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested after a vehicle ended up in the ditch in the Town of Raymond in Racine County Sunday, April 14 -- with a 4-year-old child inside. The accused is Rosario Mendoza Conchi -- who faces felony charges because this could be his third OWI offense, and because their was a child involved.
It happened around 5 p.m. on Seven Mile Road near I-94.
According to the Racine County Sheriff's Office, a concerned citizen called in an indicated the operator of the vehicle found in the ditch was possibly intoxicated and there was a child in the vehicle.
"Detected what this person thought was a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the driver," said Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.
Mendoza Conchi was arrested for OWI, third offense with a passenger under the age of 16.
An on-site preliminary breath test revealed a result of .206.
"I really hope they throw the book at him. I really do," said Sheriff Schmaling.
Sheriff's officials said Mendoza Conchi failed field sobriety testing, and body camera footage showed him struggling to stand up.
"Thank God there were no injuries. The child was not injured," said Sheriff Schmaling.
He made his initial appearance in court Monday, April 15.
Sheriff's officials noted Mendoza Conchi had a revoked license due to previous OWI convictions, and a restriction that required no driving with an alcohol concentration greater than .02.
"His second offense was in 2018 -- just last year. The one prior to that was in 2006. So this is clearly -- our system is failing," said Sheriff Schmaling.
Schmaling said the 4-year-old was comforted at the scene with a care package provided by the non-profit group Faith, Hope and Love. That allowed for some much needed love during a scary, difficult time.
"We're able to offer something like that to a child and turn a negative into a positive encounter with law enforcement. I think that is going to pay off in dividends when they are adults and they'll recognize we are there to help them," said Sheriff Schmaling.
Cash bond was set at $5,000. A preliminary hearing was set for April 24. Meanwhile, Mendoza Conchi was ordered to consume no alcohol, and he cannot operate a vehicle.