Brookfield — A man who fled on foot from the scene of a fatal traffic crash Saturday on U.S. Highway 45 was arrested around 8:40 p.m. after police fired tear gas into a home to end a standoff that had lasted several hours.
The 25-year-old suspect from Milwaukee was found hiding in the basement of the Brookfield home, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said. Officers from the Milwaukee County SWAT team searched the home and arrested the man.
One officer was cut by broken glass when entering the home. Tear gas shells were fired into the home about 7 p.m., after officers lost communication with the suspect, Clarke said.
After fleeing the crash site on northbound Highway 45 at Burleigh Road in Milwaukee County, the man ran west through several neighborhoods with police in pursuit. The suspect was confronted by a homeowner on Mayfair Drive who observed him in the yard. Clarke said the suspect "bull rushed" past the man and entered the home.
The suspect ordered the occupants out of the home, locking himself in.
A woman at the scene Saturday night said she is married to the suspect and that she had been in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. Saturday. She said her 8-year-old son died in the crash.
The boy was not wearing a seat belt, Clarke said.
The woman's husband is the boy's stepfather. A 3-year-old girl, the man's daughter, also was a passenger in the vehicle.
When officers found the man in the home, he was bleeding from wounds sustained in the crash and taken to a hospital, Clarke said.
The sheriff said the man had a criminal record in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, including convictions for car theft, aggravated battery and drugs.
Clarke gave no other details about the man or the boy and would not confirm their identities.
The man's wife said she came to the scene because her husband "needs me right now."
The woman said she didn't know why her husband fled from the crash scene.
She said he had been driving and apparently was about to miss the Burleigh exit when he turned the wheel sharply and rolled the vehicle, she said.
Her son was riding in the back seat and was killed, she said, adding that the boy was her only child.
She said she came to the scene to persuade police to let her talk to her husband by phone.
"He needs me right now," she said. "I don't want to lose them both."
Asked what she'd say if she could talk to him, she said she'd tell him the crash wasn't his fault, and that she'd say, "Baby, please come out."
Tom Tolan of the Journal Sentinel staff in Milwaukee contributed to this report.