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A man was charged after he crashed the SUV he was driving into a van while trying to escape from a confrontation with a resident who wanted to know why he was parked in her driveway.

Eric Bernal, 32, of Mount Pleasant, was charged by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday with two felony counts of second degree recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, Bernal faces up to 20 years in prison and/or fined up to $50,000.

According to the criminal complaint, Racine Police were called for a report of a person crashing the SUV they were driving into a van at 5:05 a.m. Wednesday at a residence in the 1300 block of Hayes Ave.

The passenger’s boyfriend, NAM Johnson, used to live at the residence and is the sister of the woman who lives at the house. Johnson is in jail on a case involving the passenger.

The woman who lived at the property came home to find a black Ford Expedition parked in her driveway. Bernal and the passenger were inside the Expedition sleeping. When the she woke the two up by knocking on the window, Bernal put the Expedition in reverse and “began ramming” the van, which was parked behind it.

While calling the police, the woman was getting her purse out of the van and Bernal “reversed at a high rate of speed causing the tires to squeal.” The woman told police she had to “duck around the corner of the porch” to avoid being hit by the van. Bernal also crashed into the van three to four more times.

The van had front end damage and fluids leaked from it.

Officers took Bernal into custody and took him to the Racine County Jail where a $7,500 signature bond was set. A preliminary hearing was set for 9 a.m. March 3 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.


Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.