Monday, March 2, 2015

Michael Hobbs and the Cut Throat Mob

Michael Hobbs is 18 years old, and charged with second-degree reckless homicide, hit-and-run resulting in death, and operating a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Michael E. Hobbs

Just 18, Hobbs was already convicted for "taking a vehicle without consent," but got off with a stayed sentence.

He got away with his crimes, did it again, and killed a married couple on a Sunday afternoon.

From FOX6 News:

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office charged 18-year-old Michael Hobbs on Thursday, February 26th with multiple criminal counts in connection with a fatal crash that happened near 84th and Wilbur on Sunday, February 22nd.

Hobbs is charged with the following: two (2) counts of second-degree reckless homicide, two (2) counts of hit-and-run resulting in death and one (1) count of operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Hobbs made his initial appearance in court on Thursday. He has pleaded not guilty.

According to the criminal complaint, Hobbs admitted to stealing an SUV from an alley near 33rd and National in Milwaukee. The vehicle had been reported stolen on February 19th.

On Sunday, February 22nd, Hobbs said he and a group of people “stopped at Walmart and smoked marijuana before proceeding to 89th and Wilbur to pick up a friend.” Hobbs indicated that Wilbur “looked like a speed spot and he started speeding for fun. When he approached 84th Street, one of the passengers noted that 84th Street was busy so he slowed down.”

After picking up a friend, the complaint says Hobbs drove the SUV back towards 84th Street and sped up again. Data from the vehicle’s airbag control module says the SUV reached a speed of 78 miles-per-hour before Hobbs went through the intersection of 84th and Wilbur without stopping — and slammed into another car. 74-year-old Bernard Hanson and 64-year-old Mary Hanson were inside that vehicle. They died at the scene of the crash.

Hobbs told police he remembers hitting a red car, and then climbing out the window. He then took off running, according to the complaint.

Is there any question that Hobbs is a danger to society?

No. None.

His criminal behavior resulted in the deaths of two people.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

An 18-year-old Milwaukee man — on probation for driving a stolen truck last summer — sped up to 80 mph in a stolen SUV before causing a hit-and-run crash that killed a husband and wife, according to a criminal complaint.

Michael E. Hobbs was charged Thursday with two counts of second-degree reckless homicide, two counts of hit-and-run causing death and operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent. His bail was set at $100,000.

The crash occurred at 2:15 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of S. 84th St. and W. Wilbur Ave. when a stolen Chevy Tahoe with several occupants sped past a stop sign and collided with a car on W. Wilbur Ave., according to Milwaukee police.

After the initial crash, the SUV and the car continued eastbound and collided with a third vehicle before coming to a stop. The driver and passenger of the car died in the crash. They were identified by police as Bernard A. Hanson, 74, and his wife, Mary C. Hanson, 64, both of Milwaukee. The couple was killed about a block away from their home.

The driver in the third vehicle, a 66-year-old woman, suffered minor injuries, and her 14-year-old grandson, who was a passenger, was not injured.
The dead victims were just a block away from their home, out driving on a Sunday afternoon.

These innocent people died because Hobbs, after smoking pot, was barreling through an intersection in a stolen Tahoe at nearly eighty miles an hour!


More from the Journal Sentinel:

Last August, Hobbs was accused of stealing a pickup truck in West Allis. The owner told police his ignition key was in the truck.

Hobbs pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct and operating a vehicle without an owner's consent. In January, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Timothy Witkowiak sentenced him to nine months in jail, but then stayed the sentence and placed him on one year of probation instead.

Hobbs continued to catch the attention of police.

About two weeks ago, a man reported his teal Dodge Caravan was stolen from Milwaukee's south side. Later that same day, two Milwaukee police officers ran the license plate of a teal van at a gas station and confirmed it was the stolen vehicle.

Two men had already left the van and gone into the gas station's store, so officers approached a woman in the van. She told police she had asked for a ride from work to the mall and her friend, "Sammie," picked her up. She offered to pay for gas. When an officer went into the store, the clerk said the two men slipped out the door when officers were checking the van.

Another officer came to help review gas station surveillance footage. He recognized the two men who left the van as Hobbs and Victor S. Perez, both of whom the officer knew as members of the "Cut Throat Mob," described as a vehicle theft group in a criminal complaint.

Hobbs was charged Feb. 16 with operating a vehicle without the owner's consent, and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Less than a week later, prosecutors say, Hobbs was behind the wheel of a stolen SUV and caused a crash that killed two people.
Hobbs, a convicted thug, was allowed by the judicial system and the police to continue to break the law, and kill two people.

MPD officers contacted Mark Belling, pointing out that they are not allowed to pursue stolen vehicles unless they've been involved in a "recent" crime, no chase.

Clearly, this Ed Flynn policy is disastrous.

The word is out. Thugs know they can steal cars with impunity. Thieves have no fear of police because they know they won't be chased by authorities.

A policy that permits this lawlessness and ties the hands of the police is utterly unacceptable.

How many more people will be killed before this policy is changed?

Mayor Tom Barrett should hold a high-profile news conference to express his outrage over the vehicle theft epidemic and its consequences -- the deaths of innocent citizens. (If he already did, I missed it.)

It's crazy to have a policy that promotes crime and emboldens the thugs.

Yes, that's crazy.

The police are being kept from protecting life and property in Milwaukee.



UPDATE: Ed Flynn, with Tom Barrett at his side, addressed the car thefts.

Drivers urged not to leave cars running after fatal crash involving stolen SUV

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said Sunday that police would continue to focus on repeat auto theft offenders and which types of cars are most often stolen. But with thieves targeting cars with keys left in the ignitions, "the community has an important part to play, as well," he said.

"And one part is, do not make it so easy for criminal offenders to steal your car. The consequences, literally — as we saw here just last Sunday — can be deadly," Flynn told reporters at S. 84th St. and W. Wilbur Ave., where a husband and wife were killed a week earlier in a hit-and-run crash.

...One day last week, 22 cars were reported stolen to Milwaukee police and 20 had the keys left in them, Flynn said Sunday, joined by Mayor Tom Barrett.

Flynn also called for tough consequences for auto thieves, especially more lock-ups for repeat juvenile offenders.

"We can keep making the arrests. But this behavior is going to continue until there are sanctions, and there simply must be secure placement facilities for high-rate offenders," Flynn said.
The message:

1. Don't leave your car running and unattended.

2. There needs to be "sanctions" and "secure placement facilities for high-rate offenders."

According to this Journal Sentinel article, it appears the MPD policy of not pursuing stolen vehicles was not addressed in this meeting with reporters.

That's an important part of the story that must be addressed.

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