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Prosecutors: Man gave fake name after leading Wauwatosa police on 80 mph pursuit

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Mark Frank

MILWAUKEE -- A 49-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of leading Wauwatosa police on a high-speed pursuit, all while he was allegedly driving drunk.

The accused is Mark Frank -- and he faces the following criminal charges, filed two days after the incident, on April 10:

  • Obstructing an officer
  • Attempting to flee or elude an officer
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated - 3rd offense
  • Operate motor vehicle while revoked

According to the criminal complaint, a Wauwatosa police officer was on patrol on Sunday, April 7 when he saw a blue minivan fail to move over while another officer was conducting a traffic stop. The Wauwatosa officer conducted a traffic stop of the blue minivan on N. Mayfair Road just south of Burleigh.

Wauwatosa pursuit allegedly involving Mark Frank

Wauwatosa pursuit allegedly involving Mark Frank

The complaint indicated the driver in the minivan identified himself as "Fonzie Lee Frank." When the officer went to run the name, it could not be located. When the officer asked the driver if he was lying about his name "again, the driver stated no." The officer also noted an odor of alcohol coming from the driver "as well as bloodshot, glassy eyes and slurred speech." The driver admitted having a couple of drinks prior to driving. The complaint said when the officer asked the driver to get out of the vehicle, the driver apparently stated, "I don't think so" and drove off. A passenger in the minivan was exiting the vehicle when it pulled away from the officer -- and suffered some scratches.

Officers pursued the driver in the minivan. The complaint said they observed the minivan "run two different stop signs and estimated the speed to be in excess of 80 mph." Around 117th and Locust, the officers lost sign of the minivan. A short time later, a citizen flagged down officers -- and pointed out the minivan parked nearby.

Mark Frank

The complaint indicated officers called in a K-9 unit -- and eventually located "the driver laying down on his stomach, hiding behind a hot tub" in a backyard. He was arrested -- and positively identified as Mark Frank via fingerprint scan.

Wauwatosa pursuit allegedly involving Mark Frank

"We were looking out the windows and there were police officers walking up and down the street, opening up the garbage cans like they were looking for someone or something," said a neighbor. "Once the police dog was in our backyard, it was pretty much, happened very quickly after that. This whole backyard was filled with police officers and they were all back there for a second, couldn't really see what was going on, and then they came out with a man in handcuffs. It as surreal. It was like watching CSI out your window. I've never seen anything like this happen, especially because we're so close to the schools that I feel like this is a really safe place to live, so that was kind of scary."

According to the criminal complaint, Frank consented to a preliminary breath test which showed a result of .091 -- more than the legal limit.

Frank made his initial appearance in court on Thursday, April 11. He entered not guilty pleas against all but the OWI charge. Frank is due back in court for a preliminary hearing on April 24.

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