Dane County man faces 12th OWI, accused in hit-and-run crash in Lake Mills

Michael Harbort

JEFFERSON COUNTY — A Dane County man faces his 12th OWI charge — this time in Jefferson County. The accused is Michael Harbort, age 51. He faces the following criminal charges.

  • Hit and run – injury
  • Operating while intoxicated – 10th and subsequent offense

According to the criminal complaint, Lake Mills police were dispatched to a hit-and-run crash that happened at the intersection of N. Main Street and Tyranena Park Road on the afternoon of Saturday, March 2. Witnesses indicated a white pickup truck struck a sedan that was stopped at a traffic light on County Trunk V. The sedan sustained heavy front end damage. Witnesses told police the “pickup then backed up and drove away from the scene.”

Officers learned which direction the pickup truck had headed from the scene — and went in the general direction. A short time later, they located the pickup on Ziebell Road. The vehicle “had front end damage and the front bumper was pushed inward.” The license registration listed the vehicle owner as Harbort.

Police tracked footprints in the snow towards a shed on the property and requested the help of a K-9 unit. During this search, they saw Harbort step into a clearing and gave him commands which were ignored. Moments later, when an officer “withdrew his electronic control device and instructed the subject to put his hands behind his back,” Harbort complied.

The complaint indicates officers “noted the defendant emitted a strong odor of intoxicants, he had glassy and bloodshot eyes and his speech was slurred when he spoke.” The officers also indicated Harbort “had trouble walking in the snow” and later “became impatient and was swearing.” When police tried to conduct sobriety tests with Harbort, the complaint indicates he denied doing any. He also said no to submitting to an evidentiary test of his blood. That changed later when Harbort was at the hospital.

Investigators later learned this crash was captured by an exterior surveillance camera at the Walgreens at the corner of N. Main Street and Tyranena Park Road.

Harbort has already pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. He is due back in court on July 31 and Sept. 5.

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