Racine police say a 28-year-old woman Wednesday chased down a man driving with his baby in the car and hit the man’s car on purpose, causing a bruise on the baby’s back.

Jennifer O’Connor, of Racine, was charged Wednesday in Racine County Circuit Court with one felony count each of hit-and-run causing injury and 2nd degree recklessly endangering safety. If convicted, she faces almost 11 years in prison and/or up to $35,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint, police were called 4:49 p.m. to the intersection of 16th and Wisconsin Streets for a report of a hit-and-run accident. When officers arrived on scene, they learned the offending vehicle was a silver sedan registered to O’Connor.

Police say a man was stopped in an eastbound lane of DeKoven Avenue at Racine Street behind O’Connor’s car and a black SUV. O’Connor got out of her car and walked to the SUV where she was given a bottle of water. When she didn’t get back into her car after the light changed, the man yelled for her to go because the light was now green.

O’Connor yelled back at the man, threatening to beat him up. When the man told her there was a baby in the car, she shouted, “I don’t give a (expletive)! I’ll beat your ass!” the complaint reads. The man turned on Racine Street and headed toward 16th Street, and O’Connor pulled over to the curb and waited for the man to pass her then followed behind him.

Officers say when the man stopped at the stop sign at 16th and Wisconsin, O’Connor rear-ended the man hard then turned north and headed the wrong way on Wisconsin Street. Witnesses told police that O’Connor was driving much faster than the posted speed limit – around 50 miles per hour – when she went around one car to get behind the victim and then hit the man’s car.

The man reported to officers that his baby was properly secured in the car at the time of the incident, but that the baby did have a bruise on his back, the complaint reads. When police caught up with O’Connor, she told them she was seeking medical help for an anxiety attack that happened during the incident. She also told officers that she went into a rage and left the scene because she doesn’t have insurance.

O’Connor remains in the Racine County Jail on a $20,000 cash bond. She will next be in court August 5 for her preliminary hearing.

 

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