FON DU LAC, Wis. - Wisconsin authorities say a driver who struck and killed a former Fairfax police officer was “targeting a white person.”
According to police, Phillip Thiessen, 55, a Marine veteran, as well as a former City of Fairfax officer, was on a motorcycle when 27-year-old Daniel Navarro deliberately swerved in front of his motorcycle without braking on July 3.
Thiessen was dead when police arrived at the scene.
The City of Fairfax police department posted news of Thiessen’s death on Friday, saying “he had a great sense of humor and was quite the character. You will be missed by many Phil.”
Navarro was standing at the scene when police arrived, and witnesses were trying to render aid to Thiessen.
When a patrol sergeant arrived, the sheriff said Navarro stated he had intentionally slammed into the motorcycle and passed a field sobriety test.
Navarro allegedly targeted the motorcycle due to the rider’s race and the fact that injuries in such a crash would likely be fatal, Waldschmidt said. Navarro was unhurt.
A criminal complaint said Navarro told investigators that he had been “poisoned” by friends, co-workers and neighbors and that he could hear neighbors making “racist comments through the walls,” Milwaukee-based Fox 6 reported.
His purported antagonists were all “Caucasian,” according to the criminal complaint, and he claimed they were targeting him because he is “Mexican.”
Navarro allegedly chose his target because “White people drive motorcycles,” especially Harley-Davidsons, according to the report.
He also claimed he wanted to go to prison to be “free from the people that harass him in his home,” according to Waldschmidt.
Investigators said they filed homicide and hate crime charges, adding that although the attack was targeted based on race, Navarro did not know Thiessen was a retired member of the law enforcement community.
The court set his bond at $1 million, Fox 6 reported. He’s due to return on July 17.