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City in Wisconsin files unprecedented lawsuit against reckless driver ticketed 44 times



The city of Milwaukee, per the request of the Milwaukee Police Department, filed a lawsuit against what they say is an ‘egregious driver.’The city served 53-year-old Anthony Szablewski with a lawsuit Sunday and announced the news Monday.The lawsuit alleges police ticketed Szablewski 44 times since 2017 for traffic violations in the city.The offenses include reckless driving, red light violations, unsafe passing and excessive speeding.”I think it’s a great tool in the toolbox for the city. We’re extremely limited in what we can do against repeat offenders as far as harsh penalties for traffic violations,” said Jordan Morales, the vice president of the Sherman Park Community Association and advocate for safer Milwaukee streets. “It’s so dangerous, it puts all of our lives at risk, it puts my life at risk and my kid’s lives at risk, and we didn’t sign up to drive like that.”According to the complaint, police found Szablewski unconscious in the driver’s seat of his running car last summer. The complaint says officers administered Narcan, a drug commonly used for opiate overdoses, and issued him a citation for operating under the influence.Just this year police said they pulled Szablewski over eight times.Other violations include illegally passing on the right in a bus lane, which caused an accident on Howell and Layton avenues in February.In another incident on Howell Avenue, police said he was speeding 80 mph in a 35 mph zone.When asked why he was speeding, the complaint alleges Szablewski said no reason other than he was delivering food from a restaurant.Now, the city wants a Milwaukee County Circuit Judge to find Szablewski’s driving to be a public nuisance and to order injunctive and equitable relief.Officials said if he doesn’t comply, he could be sentenced to jail or have his vehicle taken.Milwaukee police Chief Jeffrey Norman released the following statement regarding the lawsuit.”This new approach of civil litigation against egregious reckless drivers is intended to send a clear message to all the chronic reckless drivers in Milwaukee that we take the safety of everyone on the roadways in our community very seriously,” Norman said.Sister station WISN attempted to reach Szablewski for comment Monday at his home and via phone but did not get in touch.Police did not release a mugshot of Szablewski at this time.He is not the only Milwaukee resident facing potential lawsuits from the city.The Milwaukee Police Department said they’ve identified 20 additional drivers who they’ve ticketed more than 10 times each in the past five years. MPD said they are in the process of contacting those people to let them know they could face litigation if the reckless driving continues.“I love to hear that,” said Morales. “Hopefully, it preempts the need for more civil lawsuits against repeat offenders and people who are like ‘well I don’t want my car impounded’ right so let’s kind of shape up.”

The city of Milwaukee, per the request of the Milwaukee Police Department, filed a lawsuit against what they say is an ‘egregious driver.’

The city served 53-year-old Anthony Szablewski with a lawsuit Sunday and announced the news Monday.

The lawsuit alleges police ticketed Szablewski 44 times since 2017 for traffic violations in the city.

The offenses include reckless driving, red light violations, unsafe passing and excessive speeding.

“I think it’s a great tool in the toolbox for the city. We’re extremely limited in what we can do against repeat offenders as far as harsh penalties for traffic violations,” said Jordan Morales, the vice president of the Sherman Park Community Association and advocate for safer Milwaukee streets. “It’s so dangerous, it puts all of our lives at risk, it puts my life at risk and my kid’s lives at risk, and we didn’t sign up to drive like that.”

According to the complaint, police found Szablewski unconscious in the driver’s seat of his running car last summer. The complaint says officers administered Narcan, a drug commonly used for opiate overdoses, and issued him a citation for operating under the influence.

Just this year police said they pulled Szablewski over eight times.

Other violations include illegally passing on the right in a bus lane, which caused an accident on Howell and Layton avenues in February.

In another incident on Howell Avenue, police said he was speeding 80 mph in a 35 mph zone.

When asked why he was speeding, the complaint alleges Szablewski said no reason other than he was delivering food from a restaurant.

Now, the city wants a Milwaukee County Circuit Judge to find Szablewski’s driving to be a public nuisance and to order injunctive and equitable relief.

Officials said if he doesn’t comply, he could be sentenced to jail or have his vehicle taken.

Milwaukee police Chief Jeffrey Norman released the following statement regarding the lawsuit.

“This new approach of civil litigation against egregious reckless drivers is intended to send a clear message to all the chronic reckless drivers in Milwaukee that we take the safety of everyone on the roadways in our community very seriously,” Norman said.

Sister station WISN attempted to reach Szablewski for comment Monday at his home and via phone but did not get in touch.

Police did not release a mugshot of Szablewski at this time.

He is not the only Milwaukee resident facing potential lawsuits from the city.

The Milwaukee Police Department said they’ve identified 20 additional drivers who they’ve ticketed more than 10 times each in the past five years. MPD said they are in the process of contacting those people to let them know they could face litigation if the reckless driving continues.

“I love to hear that,” said Morales. “Hopefully, it preempts the need for more civil lawsuits against repeat offenders and people who are like ‘well I don’t want my car impounded’ right so let’s kind of shape up.”



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