RACINE — Help continues to pour in to assist the victims and families impacted by the deadly Waukesha Christmas Parade tragedy.
On Friday, Racine County officials announced they are launching a donation drive to help victims and their families. When the drive is concluded, donations will be given to the United for Waukesha Community Fund, the primary fundraiser in the community.
Donations are being accepted via PayPal. The drive ends Monday, Dec. 20.
“My heart is heavy for the Waukesha County community following the tragic events of the Christmas parade,” Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said in a statement.
“Our neighbors need our support, and I believe Racine County is ready to answer that call. I hope we can show our tremendous spirit of giving during this holiday season by helping those in need," Delagrave said.
MILWAUKEE - The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the city of Milwaukee Health Department are investigating a COVID-19 outbreak from a wedding in Milwaukee County on Nov. 27.
There are currently 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases among California residents who attended the event. One of the individuals attended the wedding upon return from international travel. A California State lab used genomic sequencing to identify that 5 of those 12 people were infected with the omicron variant.
Genomic sequencing data is not yet available for the other cases. The 12 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 are between the ages of 18-49. All individuals were vaccinated, and most had received boosters, the DHS said. They are mildly symptomatic and no one has been hospitalized.
The Alameda County Public Health Department confirmed the 12 cases. The county is positioned along the west bank of San Francisco Bay.
The DHS and the Milwaukee Health Department are actively reaching out to all Wisconsinites who were close contacts, and isolation and quarantine protocols are being followed.
"Although the news that this variant is continuing to spread throughout the country is concerning, it should not be a cause for panic. We know COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and death," said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake. "That’s why it’s critical that all eligible Wisconsinites get vaccinated or get their booster as soon as possible and follow public health best practices to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe."
The DHS will continue to provide updates as additional information is available.
RACINE, Wis. - The death of a Racine County Jail inmate has been ruled an accidental overdose, the sheriff's office said Friday, Dec. 3.
The finding is the result of an investigation by the Kenosha County Sheriff's Department – the outside agency tasked with investigating the death of 22-year-old Ronquale Ditello-Scott Jr.
Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling ordered a "Len Bias" investigation into Ditello-Scott's death after he was found dead in a holding cell on May 29. The 22-year-old had been arrested and jailed for operating while intoxicated.
An autopsy, conducted by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office, determined Ditello-Scott’s cause of death was "acute fentanyl toxicity." The Racine County medical examiner determined that the manner of death to be "accidental."
A review of the body camera recordings showed that while Ditello-Scott was in custody, deputies and correctional officers repeatedly asked him if he was on any substance other than marijuana. Ditello-Scott stated he was not on any other substance and, on several occasions, said that he was just very tired.
Racine County Jail
The lead investigator reported:
"Ditello Scott was arrested by Racine County Sheriff’s Deputies and arrived to the Racine Jail at 0410 Hrs. Deputies did not use force at any point during that contact. Ditello Scott was booked into the Jail and placed in Male Holding #1 at 0510 Hrs. Jail staff did not use force at any point during that contact. Ditello Scott remained in Male Holding #1. At no point did Ditello Scott request medical assistance for himself. At no point did any inmate request medical assistance for Ditello Scott.
"I watched the facility footage of Ditello Scott from the time he laid down in Male Holding #1 to the time he was found not breathing by Correctional Officer S[.] and Nurse R[.] from 0510 Hrs to 0809 Hrs the uninterrupted video showed that Ditello Scott didn’t move from his bed and no one, including inmates, ever touched Ditello Scott while he was in Male Holding #1[.]"
Statement from Sheriff Schmaling:
"Every overdose death is a tragedy, and I am very concerned that there has been a 30% increase of overdose deaths, in a one-year period, in the United States. The reports are, during this same time period, over 100,000 people nationally have died from overdoses. Therefore, I am calling on the Racine County Metro Drug Task Force to continue its ‘Len Bias’ investigation into Ronquale’s death so that all of the individuals who are responsible for illegally peddling this poison can be held accountable in a court of law."
Ditello-Scott's death was the first of two at the jail in less than one week. Malcolm James, who was on suicide watch, suffered a "medical event" and died on June 1. The sheriff's office said he suffered the event while being medically evacuated by jail staff after he repeatedly slammed his head into a wall.
The Kenosha County Sheriff's Department investigation included:
Interviews of all relevant witnesses, including: a gas station employee that saw Ditello-Scott before his arrest; the arresting deputies; jail staff and inmates; the deputy chief medical examiner of Milwaukee County; and the Racine County medical examiner
A review of body-worn camera video and jail recordings
A review of written reports and related documents
A review of medical documentation and a defibrillator report
A review of the physical evidence
An additional search of the vehicle Ditello-Scott was driving, which resulted in the location of a small amount of marijuana and a pill that tested positive for fentanyl
A forensic review of Ditello-Scott’s cellular phone
An autopsy at the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office
A "Len Bias" investigation/prosecution is named after the overdose death of basketball star Len Bias in 1986. Following Bias’ death, laws were passed that allowed for criminal prosecutions against all individuals involved in the supply chain that led to the victim possessing the controlled substance that caused their death.
In Wisconsin, this law is Wis. Stat. § 940.02(2)(a)3, First Degree Reckless Homicide. The maximum penalty for this type of homicide is a fine not to exceed $100,000, imprisonment not to exceed 40 years, or both.
Therefore, the investigation into the homicide of Ditello-Scott is active and ongoing.
RACINE COUNTY, Wis. - The investigation into a shootout between a suspect and a Racine County investigator in July is closed, so new video and court documents were released Thursday, Dec. 2, revealing the suspect had the words "last battle" written on his arm.
On July 13, a Racine County investigator just happened to be pumping gas at the Mobil gas station in Caledonia when a man fleeing police after another shooting pulled up. The district attorney says what the investigator did next saved many lives that day.
A Caledonia officer was responding to a shooting at the Pilot gas station when he spotted the suspect's fleeing Subaru and turned around. Around 30 seconds later, dashcam video shows the suspect getting out of the car and opening fire in the direction of a Racine County investigator.
"I am out with an off-duty officer who has been shot," an officer says in the video.
As other officers quickly arrive, is discovered the suspect turned the gun on himself. John McCarthy, 32, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Right before the shootout, police say McCarthy shot and killed Anthony Griger, 22, at the Pilot gas station two miles away.
Police reports say officers were at McCarthy's home before any of this happened. Reports say McCarthy had pulled the fire alarm at his Hartland apartment and left all the doors open. Officers found his bathtub partially full with "what appeared to be hard drives soaking in the liquid." They also found a whiteboard with notes that "included talk of ‘killing.’"
McCarthy had "last battle" written in Sharpie on his arm when he died.
The district attorney decided the investigator not only acted within his rights by shooting back but wrote that his heroism "most certainly saved many lives, and the community owes the investigator a debt for his heroism."
"The name of the investigator involved has not been released because of his undercover work.
Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson summarized her decision as follows:
"In the case that was presented to me, I can see no basis under which it would be appropriate to file charges against the RASO Undercover Investigator in this case. The Investigator responded, pursuant to his training and experience, to an active shooter situation in the presence of multiple civilian bystanders. While it was unknown to the RASO Undercover Investigator at the Mobil Station, Mr. McCarthy had already shot and killed an innocent victim at the nearby Pilot Station. Mr. McCarthy got out of his vehicle and immediately began shooting, forcing the RASO Undercover Investigator to return fire to protect himself and others. The Investigator was more than justified to use deadly force to protect himself and the innocent bystanders nearby. I have no doubt that the actions of that heroic officer most certainly saved many lives and the community owes the investigator a debt for his heroism on July 13, 2021."
MILWAUKEE - Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm said a young assistant district attorney made a mistake in setting the $1,000 bail that allowed 39-year-old Darrell Brooks Jr. to go free days before the Waukesha Christmas parade attack.
Chisholm spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since the attack happened.
"I’m not here to make excuses. I own any decision that’s made by any member of my office," Chisholm said.
For the past 14 years, Chisholm has served as Milwaukee County’s top prosecutor.
"When I first ran in 2007, l made a promise to the community to identify people by risk," said Chisholm.
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm
When an assistant district attorney charged Brooks with his second violent felony in two years, she failed to even look at his pretrial risk assessment because, Chisholm said, she was overloaded with other cases.
"You had a young ADA trying to do the very best she could under difficult circumstances, and she made a mistake," Chisholm said.
The district attorney’s comments came after he appeared before a Milwaukee County board committee, which included one county supervisor – Patti Logsdon – whose granddaughter is still in intensive care after Brooks’ SUV into her dance troupe.
"It’s been difficult," said Logsdon. "We need to be aggressive.This has to stop."
Logsdon is one of the supervisors who called Chisholm before the committee Thursday. FOX6 Investigators asked Logsdon: Should Chisholm pay a price?
"We’re all human. We all make decisions that we regret," Logsdon said. "I do think that he should be accountable."
Darrell Brooks Jr.
Chisholm brushed aside calls for his resignation.
"When things get tough, when tough things occur, the response shouldn’t be to quit, to run away from the problem. The obligation I have is to lead my people so they can continuing doing the work they do every single day, which is trying to keep people safe," he said.
Public comment was not allowed during the county board committee meeting, which was held via Zoom – a change from usual practice.
RACINE COUNTY, wis. — A 22-year-old Racine County man was arrested after allegedly causing several injuries to his infant son.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office responded to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for a report of child abuse on Tuesday. Police say the infant's mother reported that her infant had fresh injuries to his forehead. The infant was less than two months old.
Medical staff located bruising, an arm fracture, a skull fracture, and several rib fractures, according to police. Staff said some injuries were in varying stages of healing and others appeared fresh.
The infant was admitted to Children's and is expected to make a full recovery, officials say.
The Racine County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Bureau interviewed both parents. The father, a 22-year-old man, admitted to causing some of the injuries. To protect the privacy of the victim, police are not identifying the suspect.
The suspect was arrested and is being held on a $74,000 cash bail at the Racine County Jail.
Police say the following charges were recommended to the Racine County District Attorney's Office:
Physical Abuse of Child: Recklessly Cause Great Bodily Harm: 3 counts
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