WAUWATOSA, WI July 15 2017— A 26-year-old J.C. Penney’s worker in Wauwatosa faces prison time after police say she drove over a store security officer, causing him to careen off the vehicle and break his hip before she drove off.
On July 2, at 11:15 p.m., Wauwatosa police were dispatched to a hit-and-run accident in the J.C. Penney’s parking lot at 11800 West Burleigh St.
Upon arrival, police reported seeing a 57-year-old security officer for J.C. Penney’s lying on the ground north of the main warehouse building.
The security officer said he saw a small silver or gray sedan for the past few weeks drive at a high rate of speed through a semi-trucks-only area. He told police the vehicle came always at the same time, which is consistent with someone getting off work, according to a criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County.
On the night of July 2, he saw the same vehicle traveling in the trucks-only lane. He exited his security office and put his hand out to stop her vehicle. He saw a female driver, later identified as Stephanie Pearson, in the driver’s seat as the vehicle came to a stop, according to the criminal complaint.
According to police, the security guard was in front of the vehicle and told Pearson that she could not drive in that area and that she should not drive so fast. Pearson responded by saying that “he did not need to give her attitude.”
The security officer told police that he thought the vehicle was going to back up, but instead it accelerated and struck him in the legs causing him to go up on the hood. The security guard then rolled off the hood and the car sped away, according to police.
The security officer said he laid in the lot for several minutes before a truck arrived and he yelled for help.
He was transported to Froedtert Hospital and treated for a broken hip. He underwent hip replacement surgery due to the collision, according to the criminal complaint.
J.C. Pennye’s security was able to determine that only two female employees left the store at 11 p.m. that night.
On July 3, 2017, police were dispatched to JC Pennye’s, police reported.
The store’s human resources director had made contact with Pearson, one of the employees that left at 11 p.m. on the night of the incident, when she returned to work. The HR director said Pearson admitted to being involved in the incident, according to the criminal complaint.
Pearson was taken into custody and admitted that she was driving her vehicle the night of the incident. Pearson stated that she got into a confrontation with a security guard who told her she could not drive in the truck-only lane, according to the complaint.
Pearson said she did not stop because it was 11 p.m. and no one was around and she did not know what the security officer was going to do to her, the complaint stated.
She also stated that the security guard did this to himself because she did not tell him to jump on her car, police reported.
She has been charged with felony hit-and-run causing injury. She faces up to 10 years behind bars if she is convicted.