Cop T-Bones Passing Car, Driver Charged With DUI After Being Honest
Last February Joseph Quilles, a deputy sheriff with the Milwaukee Sheriff's Department, T-boned 25-year-old Tanya Weyker's car while he was turning at a stop sign, breaking her neck.
Cops who arrived at the scene started questioning Weyker about whether she had been drinking (she admitted to having a couple of sips from a friend's drink earlier in the day) and whether she was on prescription pills (she admitted being prescribed Vicodin after having her wisdom teeth pulled out but said she hadn't taken any in a week).
The injuries precluded Weyker from blowing a breathalyzer or taking a field sobriety test. One deputy said he could smell alcohol and that her speech was slurred and her eyes were red. Weyker explained she was crying. Results from a blood test came back less than a month after the crash and showed Weyker to have been sober. A few months later a drug test came back clean as well. Nevertheless it took nearly a year for prosecutors to decline to press charges, while the county spent the time sending letters to Weyker pressuring her to pay for the damage caused in the accident, for which the county blamed her.
Cops may have kept trying to pin the accident on Weyker despite the overwhelming evidence she was completely sober during the crash were it not for a video. But it didn't come from the dashcam. Fox 6 in Milwaukee explains:
In his official report, Deputy Quiles wrote that he stopped at the stop sign and looked both ways before pulling out. He told a Milwaukee police officer that he never saw any headlights, even though Weyker's Camry had lights that come on automatically.
"I knew I was innocent this whole time," Weyker declared.
The truth might never have surfaced were it not for video from a nearby airport surveillance camera. It shows what investigators say is Deputy Quiles' squad car traveling west on Hutsteiner Avenue, then continuing onto Howell without making a complete stop, as Quiles claimed in his report. The Sheriff's Office knew about the video just two days after the crash. But no one told Weyker.
After being informed that this video existed, Quilles admitted to internal affairs investigators that his original report was wrong and that he rolled through the stop sign. He was suspended for nine days for the traffic violations but has actually not returned to work since. He's maxed out injury pay and is seeking permanent disability from his injuries in the crash. Weyker, meanwhile, is still waiting for the county to pay her medical bills, which could pass $1 million. Wisconsin state law caps claims against government to $250,000, and Quilles reportedly eventually admitted fault in the crash. Weyker is also suing the deputy who arrested her.