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Fleeing suspect pleads not guilty

A 55-year-old Curtiss man accused of intentionally hitting a local police officer with his car earlier this year has pled not guilty to several charges filed against him in Marathon County Dan W. Willison was charged in July with first degree reckless endangerment, attempting to flee officers and a fifth offense of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He also faces charges of felony bail jumping and driving with a revoked license.

At an Oct. 15 preliminary hearing, Willison entered pleas of not guilty to each of the eight charges against him resulting from a May 2 incident at the Home Motel in Abbotsford, when he fled from police who were seeking to speak with him about a domestic abuse complaint.

According to report released by the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigations, Willison drove his vehicle at Colby-Abbotsford officer Kyle Jollin, who fired his gun twice at Willison, injuring him. Jollin was cleared of any wrongdoing in the incident and has since taken a job with a different police department.

Officers were dispatched to the Home Motel to look for Willison, who had active felony warrants, after an anonymous caller notified police of his location out of safety concerns for a relative.

When Jollin arrived at the motel, he saw Willison sitting in his PT Cruiser, smoking a cigarette with the window rolled down. Jollin approached Willison’s vehicle with his flashlight on and his service weapon drawn, according to the report, which also indicates that Jollin identified himself as a police officer.

Video footage from a body camera worn by Jollin showed that he commanded Willison to show his hands and yelled “do not move” as he approached Willison’s vehicle, the report states.

The report says Willison’s vehicle accelerated toward Jollin, striking the officer and knocking him onto the hood. Jollin later told the DCI agent that he held onto the hood out of fear that he would not survive being run over by the vehicle. “With his gun in his left hand and holding the hood with his right, he fired one round through the windshield,” the report states.

Willison then led officers on a highspeed chase that eventually ended on Highway 29 near Milan. He got out of his car and tried fleeing on foot, but he was apprehended by officers and transported to a hospital for treatment of his wounds.

A blood test later showed that he had a blood-alcohol level of .184 — more than twice the legal limit.

According to online court records, when he was arrested on May 2, Willison was already facing battery charges in Clark County as a result of an April 5 incident. That case has a domestic abuse enhancer and also includes a felony charge of intimidating a witness.

A Nov. 6 status conference is scheduled in the Marathon County case. Willison remains in jail on a $150,000 cash bond set by the court in July.