Milwaukee man charged with gas-station drive-off

RACINE CO. -- 26-year-old Deangelo Wright of Milwaukee faces criminal charges for allegedly driving from a gas station without paying for his fuel. In an effort to stop Wright from driving off, the gas station clerk tried to stop him and was dragged.

Wright faces two criminal counts -- first-degree recklessly endangering safety and robbery with use of force.

The incident described in the criminal complaint against Wright happened on Wednesday, September 5th at a gas station on Seven Mile Rd. in Caledonia.

The complaint says Wright started to fill his van with gas, totalling $85. Wright then got back in the van and allegedly started to leave without paying for the gas.

The gas station clerk told police he ran towards the car to make contact with the driver before he could leave. The van started to pull away and the clerk stated he reached inside the van. The clerk was dragged approximately 30 feet. The clerk fell to the ground and the van continued north on the East Frontage Road from Seven Mile Rd.

The complaint says the clerk did not think he was run over by the van, however, officers from the Caledonia Police Department watched the video and it appeared as though the driver's side rear tire may have had contact with him. The clerk suffered scrapes, bruises, a cut lip and a chipped tooth. His right eye was black and blue and closing immediately after the incident.

Investigators got the license plate of Wright's van from surveillance video -- and interviewed him the following day. Wright told police he was going to pay for the gas but he didn't have enough money. The complaint indicates Wright said his cousin was going to pay but then the clerk came rushing out at his vehicle and started calling him the "N" word and demanding money. Wright also said the clerk was hanging on to his vehicle and reaching inside so he drove off. Wright then stated that he did not know if he dragged the clerk or if he ran over him or if the clerk was hurt.

If convicted on the charges, Wright faces up to 12-and-a-half years in prison and $25,000 in fines.