Michael Couillard, 56, was charged with a felony count of first degree recklessly endangering safety and a misdemeanor count of drunk driving (second offense) by the Racine County District Attorney’s Office on Monday.
If convicted of both charges, Couillard faces up to 13 years in prison and fines up to $26,100.
According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Caledonia Police Department took a report of a truck crashing into a minivan that was waiting for a train at about 7:53 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23 near Northwestern Avenue at County Trunk Highway H. A witness told police Couillard was the driver of the truck and when he got out of the truck, he staggered and slurred his speech.
Couillard told the driver of the minivan that there wasn’t any damage, but the witness told him to get back into the truck and the police were on the way.
However, Couillard got back into the truck, and started up the engine. The witness told him to stay put, but Couillard made a u-turn to leave and the witness got “in front of the pick up truck and extended his arm to the operator of the truck and told him to stop.” With a “sinister grin on his face,” Couillard told the witness to get out of the way and drove towards him.
At the last minute, the witness moved out of the way, but the driver’s side view mirror struck the witness. Unhurt, the man was spun around in the street.
Officers showed up to Couillard’s home and found him in a bathrobe and underwear. He told police he had been home the whole day, but was slurring his speech and told officers that he was drunk.
Even though he said he wasn’t driving, the police also arrested Couillard for failing to maintain control of his vehicle, and failing to notify police of an accident.
Couillard is being held at the Racine County Jail on a $5,500 bond. A preliminary hearing has been set for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 3 in front of Racine County Court Commissioner Alice Rudebusch.