An Eau Claire man is accused of driving his vehicle while his girlfriend was hanging on from the outside.
The vehicle had no brakes, police said.
David J. Riedel, 38, was charged Thursday in Eau Claire County Court with a felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
Riedel is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Aug. 22.
According to the criminal complaint:
An Eau Claire police officer was sent to the 1900 block of Benton Avenue May 26 after a woman claimed she was injured after being struck by a car driven by Riedel, who was her ex-boyfriend.
Until recently, the woman said she and Riedel lived together in Altoona.
Riedel had left his vehicle at the woman’s parents’ house on Benton Avenue. The woman said she also spends a lot of time at that residence.
Riedel showed up on May 26 to pick up his vehicle and he and the woman started arguing about their recently ended relationship.
The woman said she was concerned about Riedel driving because his vehicle had no brakes other than the emergency brakes.
The woman said she pleaded with Riedel not to drive.
But Riedel started the car and began to back up. The woman was hanging onto the driver’s side window while Riedel backed into the street.
The woman fell to the ground after Riedel turned sharply and drove away.
One of the woman’s toes was bleeding and she had scrapes on her knees and right elbow. She also said her hands hurt.
Officers found Riedel and his vehicle at an Eau Claire store.
Riedel said he had broken up with his girlfriend the previous day and said they argued about their relationship.
He confirmed the brakes did not work on his vehicle.
Riedel said the woman was hanging on the side of his vehicle because she didn’t want him to leave with no brakes.
Riedel said the woman then threw herself at the moving vehicle, hitting the ground forcefully.
Two witnesses said the woman threw herself on the ground and yelled that Riedel struck her.
Riedel is being prosecuted as a repeat offender. He was convicted of a felony count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety in January 2016 in Eau Claire County.
If convicted of the felony charge, Riedel could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.