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Brookfield woman charged with hit-and-run of police officer

Victim still recovering from December collision in Brookfield

July 19, 2010

Waukesha - A 51-year-old Brookfield woman was charged Monday with hit-and-run related to a December incident that sent a Brookfield police officer to a hospital with numerous injuries.

Christine M. Druecke, who was charged with one felony count of hit-and-run with great bodily harm, is accused of striking Officer Paul Dilger at 12:12 a.m. Dec. 11 and failing to stop after hitting him.

Dilger, who has not yet been medically cleared to return to work, was on foot with two other officers when he was hit by Druecke's car. The three were responding to a report of a suicide threat at a residence in the 19100 block of W. North Ave. They had parked their squad cars and were walking west on North Ave. to the residence when Dilger was struck by a westbound vehicle, according to the criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court and police reports.

Druecke turned herself in on Dec. 14 and told Brookfield police that she was driving on North Ave. at the time the officer was injured. She told police that she did not recall whether she passed a parked police car on North Ave., but that she admitted striking what she thought was a deer.

She said she continued to her home, which is nearby, and saw that her vehicle was damaged.

Druecke would not tell police where she was or what she had been doing in the hours before the officer was hit, the complaint says.

But police received an anonymous letter Dec. 21 reporting that Druecke had been at Fiesta Garibaldi before the incident, the complaint says. Police reviewed credit card receipts, and found one from Druecke for $77.41 just before midnight Dec. 10.

Several individuals who had been at the restaurant that night told police that Druecke had been drinking beer, but none was sure how much she consumed, the complaint said. None observed her exhibiting obvious signs of intoxication, the complaint also stated.

After Druecke turned herself in on Dec. 14, police seized her vehicle, a 2006 Nissan Altima sedan. It had damage to the passenger side of the windshield.

According to the criminal complaint, damage to the vehicle was consistent with it hitting a person, not a deer. Marks on the front bumper were consistent with the left leg of Dilger being struck and a dent on the hood appeared to be consistent with where his body would have landed on the hood after being hit, the complaint says.

It also says that biological material obtained from the outside of the car was human, but there was not enough of a sample to obtain a DNA profile.

Among the injuries Dilger suffered were a head wound, a cerebral hemorrhage, a torn ACL and deformation of the spinal cord.

"We wish for him to return but some of his injuries are preventing that at this time," Capt. Phil Horter said.

Druecke will make her initial court appearance next Monday, according to court records.

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