MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee man was charged with recklessly endangering safety after police say he opened fire at officers following a police chase on Nov. 28.
A criminal complaint released Friday states that Nathanial J. Lewek fired one round at a police officer, who then returned fire. Lewek later told officers that the gun fired when he tried to toss it to the officers, according to the complaint. No one was injured during the shots fired incident.
Lewek, 18, was charged with first degree recklessly endangering safety, fleeing or eluding an officer, driving or operating a vehicle without owner's consent, obstructing an officer, and second degree recklessly endangering safety - use of a dangerous weapon.
If convicted of all counts, Lewek could face up to 36 years behind bars and $55,000 in fines.
The complaint states that two Milwaukee police officers attempted to pull over a stolen Kia at 3400 W. North Ave. around 6 p.m. The driver of the car then drove through a red light and six stop signs at a high rate of speed down the wrong way of a one-way street.
The officers briefly lost sight of the driver, but then found the vehicle again at a red light at North Sherman Boulevard and Locust Avenue. Following a short pursuit, the driver crash in an alley at speeds over 50 miles per hour, according to the complaint.
Because of the crash, the driver's door was stuck, and three people exited out of the passenger's door. The officers gave chase towards one suspect dressed in all black, the complaint states.
During the chase, one of the officers yelled that the suspect had a gun. The suspect soon hid behind a bush near West Center Street. Officers gave the suspect "numerous lawful commands" to come out and surrender, prosecutors say. That's when one of the officers heard a single gunshot and saw a muzzle flash, the complaint states. The officer returned fire, firing his service weapon five times.
The officers ordered the suspect to drop his weapon, which he did. He was taken into custody and identified as the defendant, Nathanial J. Lewek. Police say he admitted to fleeing from police. He added to officers that he fired the gun when he attempted to throw it at police, according to the criminal complaint.
A Milwaukee County Court judge on Friday set bond for $1,000 for Lewek. He is not allowed possession of firearms or driving without a valid license.
Lewek is set to be back in court for his preliminary hearing on Dec. 14, 2020 at 1:30 p.m.