1 of 2 charged in pursuit, crash in which 4-year-old was abandoned in vehicle pleads not guilty

MILWAUKEE — Wayne Potts and Dujuan Harrison, the two Milwaukee men charged in connection with a high-speed pursuit that eventually led to a crash near 27th and Loomis on the city’s south side on May 2 appeared in court Tuesday, May 14 for their preliminary hearing. Prosecutors said the 4-year-old daughter of one of the men was abandoned in the vehicle after the crash.

During their court appearance, Potts waived his preliminary hearing and Harrison entered a plea of not guilty during his preliminary hearing.  Both men were bound over for trial — due back in court on May 30 for an arraignment.

Wayne Potts and Dujuan Harrison

The pair face the following criminal charges:

  • First degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon (Potts)
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude officer resulting in bodily harm (Potts)
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude officer causing damage to property (Potts)
  • Neglecting a child – specified harm did not occur and child under 6 years of age (Potts)
  • Felony bail jumping (Potts)
  • Possession of a firearm by a felon (Harrison)
  • Obstructing an officer (Harrison)
  • Resisting an officer (Harrison)

Wayne Potts, Dujuan Harrison

According to the criminal complaint, a Milwaukee police officer was patrolling on the city’s south side near Loomis Road and Miner Street around 3:45 p.m. on May 2 when he spotted a car with a “defective high-mount brake light and excessive window tint.” The officer activated his squad’s lights and sirens to conduct a traffic stop. But the driver of the vehicle, later identified as Potts, accelerated from the officer. The complaint indicated Potts “continued to disregard the squad’s lights and sirens, and disregarded a visible stop sign” — and drove away, attempting to flee the officer. The complaint said Potts was “reaching speeds of 60-70 mph on West Loomis Road, which has a posted speed limit of 35 mph.” Potts was allegedly “weaving his vehicle in and out of traffic in a reckless manner, cutting off several motorists who were driving with the normal traffic flow.”

Suspects run from Milwaukee police following crash near 27th and Loomis

The complaint indicated a short time later, Potts’ vehicle “appeared to slide” through a right turn, given the “excessive speed and weather conditions (it was raining at the time).” The vehicle crashed into an SUV near 27th and Loomis. Inside that SUV was a Waukesha County sheriff’s deputy, who suffered injuries. Potts and Harrison both jumped out of their vehicle — and immediately fled the scene.

A detective who went after Harrison ordered him to stop. At some point, Harrison turned around and faced the detective. The detective “holstered his handgun and removed his Taser, informing Harrison to get on the ground or be tased.” Harrison then apparently turned away from the detective and “placed his hands out of view near his front waistband.” The detective, “fearing for his safety,” used the Taser on Harrison — who was then brought into custody.

Crash near 27th and Loomis in Milwaukee

Crash near 27th and Loomis in Milwaukee

Two other officers ran after Potts. They apprehended him after a short foot chase.

Officers at the crash scene noticed a third person was inside the vehicle Potts was driving. It was a 4-year-old girl who indicated Potts was her father. The criminal complaint said the child “was not restrained in any car seat or in any safety belt at the time (an officer) removed her from the wreckage.” The girl also told officers “she tried to put on the seat belt herself when her father, Potts, began to ‘drive fast.'” The child told police “she fell out of her seat when the vehicle crashed.”

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