Milwaukee pursuit, crash, 17-year-old charged, Jeep went airborne

A 17-year-old Milwaukee boy faces charges in connection with a chase and crash near 76th and Villard on Feb. 2.

The stolen Jeep being pursued flipped and went airborne as it crashed into several cars parked on the Hart Auto lot. The wild moments were captured on camera.

Ryan Tate

Ryan Tate

Ryan Tate is charged with eight felonies and a misdemeanor, filed in adult court:

  • Armed robbery
  • Vehicle operator flee/elude officer-- two counts
  • Second degree recklessly endangering safety
  • Operator flee/elude officer, bodily harm or property damage -- two counts
  • First-degree reckless injury
  • First-degree recklessly endangering safety
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18

Tate made his initial appearance in court Sunday, Feb. 6. Cash bond was set at $30,000.

Stolen SUV took flight at Hart Auto

The stolen SUV prosecutors say Tate was driving barreled through the intersection of 76th and Villard, ignoring the speeding police cars behind it.

"It happened so fast because he was coming so fast," said Christine Gaspardo with Hart Auto. "It was just in a matter of seconds – poo – everything was flying everywhere."

Stolen vehicle pursuit ends in crash near 76th and Villard in Milwaukee

The SUV hit a red car and then a fire hydrant before taking flight in the Hart Auto parking lot.

"It went airborne. It flipped over several times. It turned over," Gaspardo, a former EMT, said. "I saw the gal laying on the ground, so I started to assist her with one of the police officers."

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Milwaukee police said the pursuit began near 60th and Capitol – roughly two miles away from where it ended – shortly after 1:30 p.m. A police officer spotted the SUV, which had been stolen in a reported armed robbery, being driven recklessly and tried to stop it, but the driver refused.

Prosecutors say Tate, who had two passengers, sped through the streets while documenting it all on Facebook.

Stolen vehicle pursuit ends in crash near 76th and Villard in Milwaukee

Lyft driver carjacked

"Everything was live (streaming) while they were driving around in my truck," Pamela Watkins, the stolen Jeep's owner, said.

Watkins followed along, finding her stolen Jeep destroyed. The Lyft driver said she had been carjacked a day earlier after picking up a teen.

"When I turned back to look at the young man, he pulled out the gun and pointed it at me, and he said, ‘Ma’am, you got to get out your car,’" said Watkins.

As Watkins worked to process it all, Larry Rowell, the owner of Hart Auto, looked at his own damage in disbelief.

Stolen vehicle pursuit ends in crash near 76th and Villard in Milwaukee

"Broken windshields, smashed in windshield, the roof was damaged on top," said Rowell. "It smashed into these cars, and that’s where it was a domino effect, all the way down."

Police said a gun was recovered, and Tate was taken to the hospital along with his two passengers and the drivers of two other vehicles. Nobody at Hart Auto was injured.

"It’s very sad that kids think this is OK," Watkins said.


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