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Superior Police Department identifies officer who drove over person lying in the road

The victim has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

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SUPERIOR — Superior police officer Joshua Sislo was identified Friday as the officer whose squad car drove over a person lying on the road near the intersection of North Eighth Street and Tower Avenue Feb. 19. A release from Superior Police Chief Nicholas Alexander named the officer and included a link to squad car footage of the incident .

"It is very difficult to see that there is a person or object lying in the roadway, even after slowing the video down and rewatching it many times," Alexander said.

Sislo, who joined the department on May 5, 2021, was initially placed on administrative leave while the incident was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, per department policy. The officer returned from leave March 12 and is currently working his regular schedule.

“Upon review of records available to me, I believe the final finding will be that this is a tragic and unfortunate accident and we continue to express our sincere well wishes to the victim of this incident,” Alexander said.

The police department was notified by the justice department that the victim, who was listed in critical condition following the incident, has been released from the hospital and is currently home recovering from their injuries. The victim was not identified, in accordance with Marsy’s Law.

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“At the time of this release it is still not known why the victim was lying in the roadway,” Alexander said.

The Department of Justice completed its investigation into the incident and turned the records over to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office March 30 for a charging decision. District Attorney Mark Fruehauf could not give an estimate on when a decision could be reached. He said he will not be able to begin reviewing the file until after an April 5-6 attempted homicide trial wraps up.

Alexander said the department will review findings with the District Attorney's Office, but he did not expect any disciplinary action to result from the incident.

A rundown of the incident was also provided in the release.

At about 9:36 p.m. Feb. 19, Superior police officers were dispatched to look for a man suspected of prowling cars in the area of Tower Avenue and Broadway Street. Sislo traveled north on Tower Avenue and turned eastbound onto North Eighth Street during the search. His squad experienced a bump and the officer looked back into his side view mirror, but did not see anything and assumed he had driven over a piece of snow or ice in the roadway.

When a 911 call was received regarding a person lying in the roadway near that intersection a short time later, Sislo returned to the scene and requested an emergency medical response. He also informed his sergeant that he had driven down the road minutes earlier and may have driven over the victim. Steps were taken to review his squad car footage for possible evidence.

Because an officer was involved, Alexander tapped the Wisconsin Department of Justice and Wisconsin State Patrol to conduct the investigation of the incident.

“The Superior Police Department has a practice of requesting an outside agency to investigate critical incidents that involve the actions of our officers,” the police chief said. “The purpose of this is to maintain transparency and to help promote public confidence in the process.”

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The victim remains in critical condition after being run over by a squad while lying in the road.

The officer "has been placed on administrative assignment, per department policy," the DOJ said.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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