DPW seeks donations for parking enforcement officer ‘violently attacked’ on the job

MILWAUKEE — The commissioner of the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works on Thursday, April 18 offered information about a fund established for a parking enforcement officer who was “violently attacked” on the job — resulting in surgery and hospitalization.

DPW Commissioner Jeff Polenske said as of Thursday, the 60-year-old long-time veteran of city service continued to recover from the injuries he received in the April 2 attack, and he had not yet returned to the job.

The parking enforcement officer chose to remain anonymous, but Polenske noted he is “a person with a life, friends, family and livelihood that have been affected by this appalling incident.” Polenske said, “He is like the thousands of city employees who work hard every day in making our city a better place.”

Polenske said several people came forward with offers of financial assistance, and with help from Alderman Jose Perez, U.S. Bank established a fund, “Friends of the DPW Parking Enforcement Office.” Anyone interested in donating can visit any U.S. Bank branch — with cash or checks accepted.

Two men have been charged in connection with the beating and stabbing of the officer near 67th and Villard around 2:30 a.m. on April 2 — and they’re no strangers to law enforcement. Tony Bornes was wanted since 2018, and Isaac Ali recently got out of prison. As of April 5, both Milwaukee men were behind bars again.

Tony Bornes

Bornes, 26, faces a count of first degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon.

According to the criminal complaint, the parking enforcement officer placed a ticket on a vehicle for blocking a sidewalk, and when he was walking back to his vehicle, “he was confronted by a man who called out to him complaining that the vehicle shouldn’t be ticketed because it was parked in his driveway.” At that point, the parking enforcement officer indicated “the man attacked him by punching him in the face several times and then in the chest, causing him to fall to the ground.” While down on the sidewalk, the complaint said the “attacker finally stopped punching and kicking (the parking enforcement officer) and walked toward his work Jeep which was running.” But the attacker eventually walked away.

Parking enforcement officer stabbed, beaten near 67th and Villard

The complaint said the parking enforcement officer radioed for help. The dispatcher suggested he drive to the District 4 police station nearby. The officer did that — and “collapsed on the grass in front of the station, and realized for the first time that he must have been stabbed because he was bleeding from his right side.” The parking enforcement officer was taken to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Parking enforcement officer stabbed, beaten near 67th and Villard

In an interview with police, the parking enforcement officer stated “he was kicked hard enough to break his ribs, but the ballistic vest he was wearing protected his ribs (however, he was stabbed below the protective vest).” The parking enforcement officer said “he wears the vest because of prior assaults he has suffered during his 22 years doing this work.”

Officers were at the scene of the scuffle within 15 minutes of the assault. According to the complaint, “the illegally parked vehicle was still there, and the parking ticket issued by (the parking enforcement officer) was nearby.”

Parking enforcement officer stabbed, beaten near 67th and Villard

When questioned by police, Bornes initially “denied any involvement in or knowledge of this assault.” A folding knife and black leather jacket were recovered from Bornes’ garage. The complaint indicated Bornes later identified the two items “as the jacket he was wearing and the knife he used in this offense.”

Stabbing near 67th and Villard in Milwaukee

The next afternoon, the complaint said Bornes was interviewed one more time. He “finally acknowledged that the incident involved a parking ticket given to his cousin’s vehicle.” He also told police he had “blacked out” during the episode. Bornes stated “the victim should not have been in his driveway and that since another cousin died he has ‘a certain energy that passes through him’ and that he approached the parking checker ‘as a demon.'” Bornes said he bought a “blade” for protection and “admitted that he stabbed the victim once before running away.”

Isaac Ali

Also charged in connection with this incident is 21-year-old Isaac Ali of Milwaukee. He faces a single misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer.

When officers were on the scene to investigate the beating of the parking enforcement officer, the complaint against Ali said he “claimed that he was in the basement asleep during the entire assault…and did not wake up until police came to the residence.” The investigation showed however, that Ali “had in fact been with Tony Bornes when Bornes attacked and stabbed the parking checker.”

Bornes was in court Thursday, April 18 for an adjourned hearing. His defense attorney was unavailable for the proceedings, so the hearing was adjourned. A preliminary hearing was set for April 25.

Ali has a status conference set for May 2. He has pleaded not guilty.

Ali has served time for armed robbery, and Bornes has served time for battery. He also plead guilty to possession of cocaine, but didn’t show up for sentencing. A judge issued a warrant for his arrest in 2018.

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