A bill would create tougher penalties in situations where an offender causes injury to a law enforcement officer while resisting, obstructing, or attempting to flee. Deputy Dale Veto with the Dane County Sheriff’s Department has been working in law enforcement for approximately 25 years.

Veto testifies about a life-changing incident in March of 2008 in broad daylight near Madison. It involved a high-speed chase with a reckless 15-year old driver in a stolen vehicle. Veto’s squad was parked nearby, as he monitored the situation on the radio. He recalls putting down the road spikes and within an instant the car’s driver deliberately turned toward him at a high rate of speed and struck him down.

Veto spent one month at UW hospital with two badly shattered legs, muscle damage, and a broken shoulder. Under current law, in such situations, if prosecutors cannot prove that an offender had “intent” to harm an officer, the charge is only a misdemeanor. Veto says he’s serving a longer sentence than the juvenile who nearly killed him.

This legislation (AB-269 cosponsored by Rep. Chris Danou and Senator Jim Sullivan) would make it a felony for offenders to hurt officers while obstructing or attempting to flee.

Veto says on January 4 of this year he was cleared by his doctor to return to light duty — almost two years after the incident. He hopes to return to full duty by July, otherwise he says his career in law enforcement will come to an end.

Jackie Johnson report 2:12

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