Complaint: Man comes within inches of hitting several children after driving through holiday parade
BELOIT, Wis. — An Illinois man, accused of driving through a parade in downtown Beloit, came within inches of hitting several children, according to court documents.
Curtis L. Metz, 38, of Orangeville, Illinois, faces seven felony charges for last week’s incident, including fifth offense OWI.
A Beloit police officer said he was working downtown during the city’s annual Christmas Light Parade when he noticed a pick-up truck drive past another officer’s squad car. Metz was later identified as the driver of the truck, according to a criminal complaint.
Metz briefly stopped at East Grand Avenue and Short Street. According to the complaint, both officers asked Metz to step out of the truck after noticing a glossy look in his eyes and a strong odor coming from the vehicle.
Police said Metz did not listen and sped away toward the parade route. They estimate anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 people were in the area to watch the parade.
Metz continued to drive down East Grand Avenue, nearly hitting a child, a group of people on the north side of the road and a community officer with the Beloit Police Department, according to the complaint.
One man told police he was standing across from Lucy’s Bar with his family, when the truck came within six inches of his four-year-old daughter. The man told officers he had to grab his daughter out of the way to avoid being hit, the complaint said.
A woman in the same area with three children, all between 4 and 6, said the truck came within three inches of hitting them. The truck ran over a bucket the children were using to collect candy, the complaint said. The woman told police her grandson was terrified and kept repeating that he almost got killed.
Metz drove the truck into barricades block the parade route near the West Grand Avenue and Fourth Street intersection. He continued to speed down West Grand Avenue going around 45 miles per hour, according to the complaint.
Another man, dressed in costume, said he was walking behind a parade float with his daughter when noticed a black vehicle coming their way. He said he grabbed his daughter by her hood and two other girls and pushed them out of the way, according to the complaint.
The man said the vehicle struck his costume, but he was not hurt, according to the complaint.
Police used stop sticks in order to stop the truck. The sticks caused two of Metz’s tires to go flat, but he was still able to drive around the downtown area, sometimes reaching 60 miles per hour.
Police said Metz also nearly hit a truck while on Cleveland Avenue.
Officers took Metz into custody after his vehicle got pinned between several trees on Prairie Road.
He was then transported to the South Beloit Illinois Police Department, where he refused to perform field sobriety tests. A search warrant was issued for Metz’s blood, according to the complaint.
Police said they found what appeared to be a crack pipe on Metz. Two passengers were also in the truck, the complaint said.
One of the passengers, Aaron L. Frayer, said that Metz had been drinking vodka and tea while driving the truck, according to the complaint.
Officials filed charges against Metz in Rock County Circuit Court earlier this week.
Metz remains in custody in Illinois and will be extradited to Rock County once his previous legal issues in Illinois are resolved.
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