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Sturtevant police say a 48-year-old Racine man is facing his fifth operating while intoxicated charge after a resident reported a hit-and-run, possibly with another vehicle or mailbox.
Todd Strausser was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count of operating while intoxicated, fifth offense. If convicted, he faces up to six years in jail and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, Sturtevant officers were called at 10:59 p.m. to a home on Kennedy Drive for a report of a hit and run. When police were on their way, dispatch advised that the suspect truck – a white pick-up – was headed south toward Braun Road on 90th Street.
Officers say they were traveling east on Braun Road when they observed the driver – later identified as Strausser – didn’t obey the stop sign at Braun and 90th Street. Police activated their emergency lights and followed the truck at a high rate of speed south to Highway KR. Strausser turned west onto KR and pulled over.
A dent and grass on the front license plate was observed during the traffic stop. While the stop was being conducted, another officer traveled back to the site of the original call but said there wasn’t enough evidence there to determine if a hit-and-run had actually taken place.
During the traffic stop, officers noted Strausser’s slow speech and lack of coordination so they conducted field sobriety tests which the defendant failed, the complaint reads. The defendant admitted to drinking three beers over the course of several hours. Police administered a preliminary breath test that registered a .145, and, when they asked Strausser to submit to a blood draw, he asked a series of questions before agreeing.
But, officers say that Strausser continued to ask a variety of questions so they asked him again if he would submit to the blood draw, and Strausser refused. After obtaining a warrant, the blood draw was completed at Wheaton Franciscan St. Mary’s, and Strausser was transported to the Racine County Jail.
Police continued to question Strausser during the ride to RCJ, and during the conversation he told officers that he suffered from a broken shoulder and was taking a variety of medication for the injury as well as for high blood pressure, the complaint reads. When he was questioned again about drinking, Strausser said he wasn’t sure and used that same answer for every subsequent question.
Strausser remains in the Racine County Jail on a $3,000 cash bond. He will next be in court Dec. 4 for a preliminary hearing.