A Wauwatosa man and his companion from Milwaukee have now been charged and can be identified in a case in which a sheriff's deputy said he was attacked from behind and brutally beaten during a drunken driving investigation.
The Wauwatosa man is accused of resisting arrest after his friend attacked a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy who was trying to administer field sobriety tests, a criminal complaint says.
Matthew S. Sleider, 23, of Wauwatosa, was charged Tuesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of obstructing an officer and one count of disorderly conduct, while Brandon Stephen Bell, 22, of Milwaukee, was charged with one count of battery to a law enforcement officer and one count of obstructing an officer.
If convicted, Sleider faces up to one year in prison and $11,000 in fines, while Bell faces up to eight years in prison and $35,000 in fines.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Nov. 2, a Milwaukee County sheriff's deputy on patrol in downtown Milwaukee spotted a Mercury Sable driving westbound on West McKinley Avenue and then making an illegal manuveur to get onto Interstate 43. The deputy reported that he followed the car as it got on the freeway and noticed it deviate lanes several times, so he pulled it over on westbound Interstate 94 near North 16th Street.
Sleider was driving the car and smelled of alcohol, the deputy said, while Bell was sitting in the passenger seat. The officer ordered Sleider out of the car and had him come back to the deputy's squad car to perform field sobriety tests.
The deputy had his back to the Sable, he said, when Bell came up from behind and attacked him. Bell hit the deputy 30 to 40 times in the face, the officer reported, then head butted him while repeatedly yelling, "Where's your friends at now, where's your friends at now?"
The deputy was able to call for help and break free of Bell, then shocked him with his Taser. The deputy noted that Sleider didn't attack him but also didn't come to his aid while Bell was hitting him.
Another deputy arrived and saw Sleider holding something, which turned out to be a cell phone, so he ordered him to drop it and lie down on the ground.
Sleider refused to comply and said, "I gotta make a call, I didn't do it." The deputy commanded him six more times to get down, and Sleider eventually dropped to his knees, but kept the cell phone in his hand.
Eventually, the deputy pulled out his pepper spray and shot it into Sleider's eyes for three seconds in order to get him to comply.
He got Sleider in handcuffs, but the defendant continued to resist, telling the deputy "get the (expletive) off me pig, don't touch me." He then refused to walk to a squad car.
Three deputies were eventually able to get Sleider into the back of a squad car, where he spit on and hit the Plexiglass divider repeatedly as they took him to Froedtrert Memorial Hospital, where he had to be strapped to a gurney in order to perform a forced blood draw.
Meanwhile, Bell refused to give his real name to deputies, telling them, "Do your job yourself." He was eventually identified by his fingerprints while being booked.
Not surprisingly, neither man is a stranger to the criminal justice system. Sleider had just been released from prison in April after serving five years on two armed robbery convictions. Sleider is currently being held in Milwaukee County Jail on $5,000 bail. Bell is being held on $20,000 bail.
The fact that Sleider was not charged in the complaint with drunken driving should not be construed to mean that he won't be. Usually, OWI charges are not filed along with other criminal charges even when they are part of the same incident, but are handled separately after State Crime Lab reports return results on blood alcohol content evidence.