Deputy Hit By Car During Stop; Shoots at Fleeing Driver
Wisconsin State Journal
September 06, 2010
DANE COUNTY, WI – A Dane County Sheriff’s deputy who fired his gun at a fleeing car after being injured Saturday night is on paid leave.
That is normal protocol after “a critical incident,” Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney said Sunday. How long the deputy is on leave depends on his needs, Mahoney added. It could be a few days or it could be longer.
“It’s all dependent on how he and his family do following this critical incident,” Mahoney said.
The deputy is a 10-year veteran of the Dane County Sheriff’s Office, said Lt. Richelle Anhalt.
According to the Sheriff’s Office:
The deputy was hit by a car he had just pulled over during a traffic stop. The car was driven by Steven A. Green, 44, of Madison.
The deputy stopped the vehicle in a parking lot near the 2900 block of Hoard Street about 7:10 p.m. because it didn’t have a license plate. But Green drove into the deputy, knocking him onto the ground. The deputy then fired two shots, with at least one striking the fleeing car.
Shortly after 7:30 p.m., Madison police stopped a car matching the description of the suspect’s vehicle about six blocks away from the incident. Green was arrested on Myrtle Street.
As part of the agency’s critical incident policy, the deputy’s partner, a five-year veteran of the department, also was placed on paid leave. Both deputies have been assigned a partner for communication and peer support, Anhalt said.
The incident is considered “critical” because the officer was injured and because there was a “significant use of force against an individual,” Mahoney said.
The Sheriff’s Office policy is that an officer can fire his weapon to protect himself or others if he believes there is a threat of great bodily harm, Mahoney said.
He said he is unfamiliar with the residential neighborhood — close to high-traffic East Washington Avenue — where the incident took place. Mahoney said he didn’t know how many people were in the area when the deputy fired his weapon.
The deputy was taken to a Madison hospital with minor leg injuries. Mahoney said it’s too early to say whether the deputy used good judgment in discharging his weapon.
“It’s premature to make an assumption on my part until this investigation is complete,” Mahoney said. “It’s a good question. It’s a question that should be answered. It will. But I think we are too premature at this point in the investigation to make any assumptions.”
Green, the sole occupant of the vehicle, is in the Dane County Jail on a probation violation. Criminal charges stemming from the incident will be added, Mahoney said.
“This individual had the potential to be a danger to the community, and I’m very glad our deputies took the action that was required to ensure his apprehension and to ensure the safety of the public,” he said.
The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office, which has not released the names of the deputies involved.