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Mount Pleasant police say the Racine man who hit a woman and forced her to drive through the corner of a garage asked if he killed anyone when he was taken into custody.
Robert Ritthaler, 49, was charged Monday in Racine County Circuit Court with two felony counts of 1st degree recklessly endangering safety; one misdemeanor count each of operating while intoxicated, third offense and hit and run; and four misdemeanor counts of bail jumping. If convicted, he faces up to 29 years in prison and/or up to $90,900 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were called at 7:26 p.m. Saturday to the 1600 block of Enos Avenue for a report of a hit-and-run accident. When police arrived, they found a white Toyota Corolla that had been struck from behind by a tan Chevy Silverado and forced off the road, across a swath of grass and had hit the corner of a garage. The collision occurred in the northbound lanes of Highway 32.
Officers say that while they were taking witness statements, they observed the suspect vehicle traveling south with extensive front-end damage. Police initiated a traffic stop and asked the driver – identified as Ritthaler – to step out of the car because his speech was slurred and his eyes were glassy. Ritthaler was asked to perform various sobriety tests that he failed.
When police took the defendant into custody he asked, “Did I kill anybody?” the complaint reads. Ritthaler was transported to Wheaton Franciscan St. Mary’s for a blood draw, but the results were not available by the time the defendant made his initial appearance Monday.
Ritthaler was assigned a $25,000 cash bond in court Monday, but online jail records do not indicate if he was still in custody or not. The defendant will next be in court March 26 for his preliminary hearing.