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Pedestrian run over by Menomonie police officer charged with underage drinking

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE  —  A 20-year-old Ellsworth man lying on Wilson Avenue in Menomonie who was run over by a Menomonie police officer is being charged with carrying false identification, underage drinking and standing in the roadway.

According to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department dated November 8, Brett Schulte will be charged with an identification card violation for intentionally carrying an official identification card not legally issued to the person carrying the card.

Schulte also will be charged with underage drinking, first offense, and standing in the roadway.

The operator of the squad car, Sergeant Jason Barneson, will not be charged with any offenses.

The accident happened on Sunday, October 15, at around 1 a.m.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department received a request at 1:02 a.m. to investigate a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian who was struck by a Menomonie Police Department squad car on Wilson Avenue west of Second Street, according to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department dated October 15.

When Dunn County deputies arrived at the scene of the accident, they were informed that a Menomonie Police Department squad was traveling west on Wilson Avenue when the police officer observed a person lying in the roadway and swerved but was not able to completely avoid hitting the person.

The Menomonie fire department transported the victim to Mayo Menomonie for treatment. The victim was later transferred to Mayo Eau Claire and then to St. Mary’s hospital in Rochester, according to the news release.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department and the Wisconsin State Patrol investigated the accident.

In a news release dated October 18 from the sheriff’s department, the victim was identified as 20-year-old Brett Schulte from Ellsworth, and the Menomonie police officer was identified as 39-year-old Sergeant Jason Barneson, an 18-year veteran of the Menomonie Police Department.

The news release notes the Menomonie Police Department and the officer involved cooperated in all aspects of the investigation, and during a review of a the squad car video, investigators discovered documentation that verified the officer’s description of what happened.

The investigation also revealed Schulte had been drinking prior to the accident, and blood tests were obtained from Sergeant Barneson and Schulte and sent to the Wisconsin State Lab of Hygiene to confirm the presence of alcohol and to screen for other drugs.

In a news release dated November 2, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department reported the results of the blood tests showed Sergeant Barneson had a blood alcohol content of zero, and Schulte’s blood alcohol content was .175, twice the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle.

The news release notes the in-squad video showed Schulte lying crossways on the road with his head near the centerline and also showed Sergeant Barneson taking evasive action.