MPD bicycle officer nearly struck by two suspects in minivan

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police need your help identifying two suspects that drove their minivan directly toward a police officer, crashed into the officer's bicycle and fled the scene.

On Sunday, April 22nd around 2:00 p.m.,  three bicycle patrol officers, in full uniform, approached a suspicious vehicle in front of a business near 49th and Capitol. Two officers approached the vehicle from the rear and one from the front.

As the officers approached the vehicle, the passenger of the vehicle suddenly ran to the vehicle and entered it as the driver maneuvered the vehicle directly toward the officer positioned in the front of the vehicle.

The officer positioned in front of the suspicious vehicle was able to move out-of-the-way before the driver crashed into his bicycle.

That officer is Sergeant Chris Quinlan, who is okay but wasn't working Tuesday, April 24th. FOX6 News spoke with Quinlan's partner, Officer Dan Vidmar, who described the incident. "It's something we have to deal with on a daily basis. Plus, Officer Vidmar did an excellent job of jumping off his bike and not being injured. It's heart wrenching to be involved in," Officer Vidmar said.

After crashing into the officer's bicycle, the driver fled the scene at a high rate of speed. "The vehicle sped across Fond du Lac Avenue, attempted to go through a red light onto Capitol Drive, and went westbound into the eastbound lanes of Capitol Drive, almost causing a traffic accident," Officer Vidmar said.

The officers gave chase, but lost the minivan.

Authorities say both suspects were African-American males, ranging from 18 to 20 years old. There are few descriptive details on the driver. The passenger is described as an African-American male with a slim build and short hair. Authorities say both suspects carried cell phones on a lanyard.

Police would like to talk with the passenger and really would like to find the young man behind the wheel. "If he's willing to possibly hurt a police officer like that, who's he willing to hurt? A normal citizen?" MPD Captain Gaglino said.

If you have information that could help Milwaukee police in this case, you’re urged to call 414-935-7360.