The man struck by a squad car driven by a Menomonie police officer has been charged.
It was UW-Stout’s homecoming weekend when Brett Schulte, 20, was injured around 1 a.m. on Oct. 15 on Wilson Avenue just west of Second Street West. The rural Ellsworth man was struck by squad car driven by Sgt. Jason Barneson, 39, an 18-year Menomonie police veteran. It was dark, and the officer was using windshield wipers intermittently at the time of the crash.
According to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, results of blood tests taken from both men, show that neither had any drugs in their system. Schulte’s BAC was 0.195, however, while Barneson had no alcohol in his system.
Confirming Barneson’s account of what took place, a review of the squad car’s video showed that Schulte was lying crossways in the road with his head near the center line and that Barneson took evasive action in an attempt to avoid hitting Schulte.
After the crash, the Menomonie Fire Department took Schulte to Mayo Clinic Health System-Red Cedar in Menomonie. Later, he was taken to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire and then to Mayo Clinic Hospital, St. Mary’s Campus, in Rochester, Minn. Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith said that Schulte’s injuries were serious, but not believed to be life-threatening.
Barneson was on administrative leave in accordance with department policy during the investigation involving the sheriff’s office and Wisconsin State Patrol. On Friday, MPD Chief Eric Atkinson reported that it was found that Barneson acted appropriately and would be returning to duty on Saturday.
“Sergeant Barneson’s quick reflexes saved Mr. Schulte’s life,” Atkinson said. “We wish him the speediest of recoveries and wish him well in the future.”
Sheriff Smith said that more news — including any charges as a result of the investigation — will be coming out on Monday.