A 30-year-old Milwaukee man is facing charges for hitting a Waukesha woman and killing her service dog while she was crossing a street in June has pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Carlos M. Ward was arraigned in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Tuesday with one felony count of hit and run causing injury.
According to the criminal complaint:
At 9:45 p.m. June 8, a woman and the dog were crossing North Barstow Street near West Broadway when they were hit by a cream-colored Jeep Cherokee while the vehicle was turning from Broadway onto Barstow. The Jeep continued driving without stopped and eventually turned eastbound onto East Main Street.
On June 14, Waukesha police officers were at an unrelated call in the 400 block of East Main when one of the officers noticed the Jeep and realized it matched the description of the vehicle involved in the hit and run. The officers pulled the Jeep over for license plate sticker violations and Ward was driving.
Ward told officers he lives in Milwaukee and worked at People’s Park. When asked if he had been working the night of the accident he said he had and had left work around 10 p.m. Officers noticed damage to the front of the Jeep, which Ward said was from a 2011 incident.
However, officers found what appeared to be dog fur in some of the damage. Ward admitted to being involved in the accident, saying he took a different route home because Main Street was closed for a festival and he didn’t see the victim until it was too late because it was dark. He said he never saw a dog and didn’t stop because he didn’t think he hit the victim too hard. Ward then said he’s a very religious man and was very remorseful about the accident, saying he had been concerned about the welfare of the woman days after the accident.
The woman, 54-year-old Debbie Schultz, suffered a broken foot and the dog, Lexi, died from injuries sustained in the accident. Ward will appear in court again Dec. 17.