Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Out-of-control driver ‘bared teeth,’ bit officers after crashing tow truck

MILWAUKEE, Wis. --Police say a 29-year-old tow truck driver is facing nine felony charges after she allegedly caused a major crash and bit officers.

An officer attempted to pull over 29-year-old Precious Murphy near Pierce and Hadley on Sept.19 after noticing she had committed several traffic violations -- but Murphy had other plans, according to WITI.

While fleeing officers in a tow truck through the Riverwest neighborhood last week, Milwaukee police say Murphy crashed into a van, seriously injuring three people.

The driver sustained 12 broken ribs, two broken legs and internal organ damage. The backseat passenger suffered a concussion.

According to a criminal complaint, Murphy then "bared her teeth" as officers approached the scene and bit an officer on the arm.

The complaint goes on to say officers tried to subdue Murphy by pepper spraying and using a taser on her, "which appeared to have no effect."

One relative, who wants to remain anonymous, offered some insight into Murphy's alleged behavior:

"I believe a lot of it had to do with her being under the influence," said Murphy's relative.

Murphy eventually got away in a stolen car. The next day, authorities tracked her down to a hospital 225 miles northwest of Milwaukee, where she had checked in under a fake name. Once she was transported back to Milwaukee County, prosecutors say she continued to act violently at a hospital, pushed a nurse and bit another officer before finally being handcuffed.

"I think more's got to be done to monitor them and monitor closely so that people just don't fall through the system," said Murphy's relative.

In an interview with police, the complaint states Murphy admitted to fleeing police because she had a warrant out for her arrest.

Murphy faces the following charges:

  • 2 counts of vehicle operator flee/elude traffic officer resulting in great bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater
  • 2 counts of hit and run -- causing  great bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater
  • 2 counts of knowing operate motor vehicle while suspended -- cause great bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater
  • 2 counts of resisting an officer causing soft tissue injury to officer, habitual criminality repeater
  • Operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, habitual criminality repeater.