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Fatal hit-and-run on Brady Street: Victim's family speaks out as Milwaukee police seek suspect

Police are looking for a 2011-2018 dark gray Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Posted at 7:42 AM, Sep 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 23:13:11-04

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Police Department has shared photos of the suspect vehicle involved in a deadly hit-and-run on Sunday night.

The incident happened when the vehicle pictured above hit and killed 32-year-old Arne Japheth Bast on E. Brady Street. The driver then fled the scene.

Arne Bast
Arne Bast

The suspect vehicle is a 2011-2018 dark gray Jeep Grand Cherokee, police say.

As police search for that vehicle and the person who was driving it, Arne Bast's family and friends gathered at the memorial that’s been created along Brady Street where the 32-year-old was killed. They are vowing to create positive change in his honor.

VIDEO: Katie Crowther talks deadly hit and run on Brady and efforts to make area safer

VIDEO: Katie Crowther talks deadly hit and run on Brady and efforts to make area safer

We were with Arne’s parents, Cheryl and Jan, as they visited their son’s memorial for the first time. They read each of the messages others wrote and left one themselves. It reads, “We miss you terribly. We know you are with Jesus. Dad and Mom.”

“I just hope he knew how loved he was,” said Cheryl. “He was so loving. I’m so glad he had so many friends here.”

Being on Brady Street now is surreal and painful for them. The last time they were here was for a family dinner with Arne. He lived in the neighborhood and worked in many of the businesses along Brady Street over the years.

Arne Bast
Arne Bast

“If you knew him, you loved him, and you also knew you were loved unconditionally,” said Caleb Bast, Arne’s older brother. “He accepted everyone and talked to anyone. He had a way of drawing people in and bringing people together. He was quirky and laughed a lot and had his own strong sense of self and style.”

Arne’s parents and three older siblings are among those who have signed an online petition, created in Arne’s honor, to make Brady Street safer in terms of traffic and security. The petition already has nearly 2,000 signatures.

“Something needs to be done,” said Caleb. “Cars go too fast. There should be a lower speed limit or some speed humps. Maybe more traffic patrols and a stronger police presence. There’s not a four-way stop at every corner. Drivers blow through crosswalks. There are things we can do to hopefully keep this from happening to any other family.”

It's been a tough couple of days for Brian Hall, after witnessing Arne get hit while crossing the street near Brady and Franklin.

Hall created the petition and says there are ways to make Brady safer. The petition asks for four things: lowering the speed limit, adding speed bumps, better streetlights, and more police presence.

"The speeding is obvious, there's not many streetlights," Hall said.

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Memorial for Japheth Bast.

On Wednesday, The Brady Street Business Improvement District voted to move forward with a study to look at options to close the street to traffic altogether.

Mayor Cavalier Johnson says he is on board with pedestrianizing the area, but will wait to see what the study recommends.

For Hall and all that loved Arne, it’s about creating change and saving lives.

"Hopefully prevent this from happening again," Hall said.

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Memorial for Japheth Bast.

The Bast family is keeping the faith that the driver responsible for Arne’s death will be brought to justice.

“We hope that person feels the pain too and comes forward and just admits what happened,” said Cheryl. “We know justice will come at some point.”

“Regardless of what happens with the perpetrator, we want to make sure that this tragedy somehow makes this community better, safer, more caring, more people watching out for one another and taking care of one other,” said Jan. “Because that’s what Arne would have wanted."

A GoFundMe has since been created for Bast's family to help them cover funeral costs.

Milwaukee police continue looking for the vehicle and suspect. The Jeep was last seen traveling south on N. Water Street.

If you see the vehicle or if you have any information on the incident, contact the police at 414-935-7431, 414-935-7878, or 414-935-7360.

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