Man faces 4th-offense drunken driving after car crash

Published on: 2/28/2012

A 36-year-old Milwaukee man is facing charges of felony bail-jumping and his fourth drunken driving offense in five years after he allegedly crashed his car and fled on foot into Wauwatosa last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Michael Wetzel was found walking in the 10400 block of West Grantosa Drive at 2:17 a.m. Feb. 20. He told police he was walking from Walgreens, which was closed, and was talking on the phone with his mother.

When officers told Wetzel his mother's car had been in a crash at 107th Street and West Capitol Drive and the vehicle was unoccupied, he said he had been in the car. However, he denied driving.

Wetzel said a friend had been driving, but had fled after the crash. That story didn't match up with what officers found at the scene.

There was one circular crack in the windshield in front of the steering wheel, consistent with the driver striking his head on the glass. A thermal camera showed no heat signature coming from the passenger seat, so it didn't appear anyone had been sitting there.

A semiautomatic handgun was found on the floor, so he also was arrested for possession of a firearm by a felon. A search of Wetzel turned up a marijuana pipe.

Several traffic construction barriers and a portable traffic control message board had been knocked over and damaged, and the vehicle was parked in the roadway median.

Wetzel was turned over to Milwaukee police and booked in Milwaukee County Jail. He has a court hearing set for Wednesday.