A Barron resident who allegedly said he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident has been charged with obstructing an officer after a Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, incident, county Circuit Court documents said.
A Sept. 17 complaint identifies the defendant as 40-year-old Steven R. Smith, 560 Valley Drive.
A Barron officer was on patrol shortly before 10 a.m. Sept. 16 when he overheard dispatchers alert Turtle Lake police to watch for a black pickup truck with reported rear end damage from a hit-and-run.
The location of the crash was later determined to be Mayo Clinic Health System-Northland, Barron.
Minutes later, the city officer was paged to the Barron Public Library for a second hit-and-run report, and found the defendant in the library parking lot.
But there was a conflicting report from a second Barron officer that indicated the suspect vehicle wasn’t a pickup truck, but a “dark colored service van.”
By this time, the first city officer arrived at the library and saw a dark gray van with rear end damage, including a large dent on the rear door and a missing rear window. There wasn’t any broken glass around, either.
The defendant allegedly told the officer he was parked behind the library doing some paperwork when a black truck pulled into the parking lot, backed into his van, then sped off westbound on U.S. Hwy. 8.
The officer asked the defendant if he’d been at the hospital earlier, and he allegedly said no. The officer told the defendant he would get one more chance to tell the truth, but the defendant allegedly stuck to his story.
But when the officer noted that there were surveillance cameras at the hospital, the defendant allegedly said, “Okay, I just bumped into it.”
The complaint said a pickup truck in the hospital parking lot had evidently been struck while its owner was visiting a patient at the hospital.
The owner said “whoever hit the truck moved it three feet.” Broken glass was found near the accident scene. It allegedly matched the remaining glass from the defendant’s van.