By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Even soft-on-crime Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne knows you don’t recommend $1,000 bail for suspects charged with running over people.
His colleague in Milwaukee, “Low Bail” John Chisholm could take a tip.
Ozanne’s office last week charged Alicia L. Walker with four felony counts of first-degree recklessly endangering safety through the use of a dangerous weapon — her vehicle. She also faces two misdemeanor counts of causing injury while under the influence.
Police say Walker ran over her boyfriend and his child in a Walmart parking lot.
According to the report, the 35-year-old Sun Prairie woman picked up her boyfriend from work. He said he saw a syringe in the cupholder. He asked if he could drive because Walker had a history of substance abuse. Walker agreed. They picked up his three children, one of whom is Walker’s biological child.
The couple got into a fight in the Walmart parking lot over money the man owed Walker, the complaint states. The man got out of the car with the children, walking to a nearby car dealership. Walker drove away erratically, according to the complaint. Walker was soon back, barreling down on the man and his children, he told police.
The boyfriend said he pushed two of his children out of the way and picked up his youngest as he fled, the complaint states. The vehicle struck him in the leg, pinning it to the ground. The child was under the bumper. Witnesses at the scene said the child would have been struck if the vehicle hadn’t hit the man’s leg first.
Police said Walker appeared inebriated. She claimed she had taken methadone, according to the complaint.
This wasn’t Walker’s first rodeo. Online court records show an active rap sheet, with theft, battery, and other convictions.
It appears the state originally argued for $100,000 bond, court records note. The amount was ultimately set at $30,000.
That’s still 30 times higher than the bail Chisholm’s office recommended for Darrell Brooks Jr., in a recklessly endangering safety case just days before he is accused of killing six people and injuring about 60 others with his SUV in last month’s Waukesha Christmas parade. Brooks, according to the complaint, had assaulted the mother of his child and then ran over her with the same vehicle he is alleged to have driven into the parade.
Chisholm acknowledged that the $1,000 bail for Brooks, a career violent criminal who is a wanted sex offender in Nevada, was “inappropriately low.” He blamed the very bad decision on “human error.” There’s been a lot of that kind of “error” on his “progressive justice” watch over the past decade and a half.
Dane County has its share of problems with liberal-led, revolving door criminal justice. But at least prosecutors there know that suspects who run over people with their cars shouldn’t be out walking the streets on $1,000 bail.