A Brookfield teenager said he fled into a marsh after hitting an SUV while driving drunk because he hoped he could hide until he would register "zeros" on blood-alcohol tests, charges allege.
He said he first checked to see if the woman in the SUV was all right, then threw unopened beers into the marsh and fled, prosecutors say.
He was foiled when fire crews brought a ladder truck and a police sergeant went up in the bucket to direct officers to where he was crouching and hiding, police said.
Michael L. Delaet, 18, was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Thursday with hit and run and first-offense operating while intoxicated and causing injury. If convicted, he faces up to nearly two years in prison.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 3:25 p.m. June 7, a woman was driving her Lexus SUV north on Barker Road near River Road when Delaet came southbound and stopped to turn left at the entrance of . As the woman was driving by him, he did a U-turn and slammed into her vehicle.
Delaet then got out of his car and went to the SUV to check on the woman. He then went back to his car and fled northbound.
Witnesses said he then stopped and began to toss beer cans into a marshy area, then he drove to where he parked his car and ran into a marsh area nearby, where he was later found and arrested and area where he tossed out the beers.
Delaet was taken to the Brookfield Police Department and when his parents arrived he explained that he was at Fox Brook Park then walked to go get his car and bring it back. When he got to the entrance he realized he didn’t want to pay for parking, so he did a U-turn when he hit the SUV.
When he saw the woman in the SUV was OK, Delaet said he fled and hid in the marsh in hopes of having "zeroes" by the time police arrived and found him. He said he didn't care people saw him tossing the beers into the marsh.
Delaet had a blood alcohol level of 0.11 at the time of the incident. Police officers also found a marijuana pipe in his car with residue on it.
He will make his initial appearance in court June 26.