MILWAUKEE -- FOX6 Investigator Bryan Polcyn spent the day Tuesday, June 18 digging into the background of the driver police said struck and killed off-duty Milwaukee Police Officer Kou Her Tuesday morning near 60th and Capitol.
Police records showed Dante James, 34, was arrested near the scene of the crash less than an hour after the crash happened -- for homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle.
Milwaukee Police Officer Kou Her
Witnesses said the driver of a Chevrolet Monte Carlo blew a red light at a high rate of speed, traveling through the intersection and striking Her. Her was driving southbound on N. 60th Street after his shift.
"The suspect was traveling at a high rate of speed and crossed the intersection through a red light when he struck Officer Her," said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.
While police did not identify the striking driver, who was arrested, Chief Morales did offer some clues.
"He is 34 years of age. A Milwaukee resident. He has four OWI convictions in the state of Wisconsin, and his most recent in May 2017. He is on probation for that one," said Morales.
"Somebody made a choice. A choice to drive through a red light and take the life of a public servant. Another public servant gone," said Alderman Cavalier Johnson.
A FOX6 Investigation found the man had just been stopped for speeding on April 28 at 60th and Nash, two blocks south of Tuesday's fatal crash scene. He was fined $174. According to online court records, his driver's license was revoked for three years. There was no indication he was ticketed or criminally charged for driving while revoked.
When he was stopped for speeding on April 28, he got a $10 ticket for driving without insurance.
Online court records showed a history of cases dating back to 2002, when James was 17.
In August 2012, James was charged with OWI, third offense with a passenger under 16 years old and operating while revoked. In January 2013, he pleaded guilty to the OWI charge, and he was sentenced to serve one year in jail. Additionally, his license was revoked for 30 months, and he was ordered to utilize an ignition interlock device for 30 months.
In March 2011, James was charged with OWI, second offense, and operating with a prohibited alcohol concentration, second offense. In May 2011, he pleaded guilty to the OWI charge, and he was sentenced to serve 55 days in jail. Additionally, his license was revoked for 18 months, and he was ordered to utilize an ignition interlock device for one year.
In May 2010, James was charged with escape -- criminal arrest. He pleaded guilty in August 2010, and was sentenced to serve 90 days in the House of Correction.
In December 2006, James was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, carrying a concealed weapon, and intentionally pointing a firearm at a person -- two counts. In February 2007, he pleaded guilty to the possession of a firearm by a felon charge. He was sentenced to serve 40 months (more than three years) in prison and 40 months' extended supervision.
In December 2002, James was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of THC. In February 2007, he pleaded guilty to the possession of cocaine charge. He was sentenced to serve 90 days in the House of Correction, and his license was revoked for six months.