Previous bonds were ‘inappropriately low’ for suspect in Waukesha parade crash, DA says

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County’s district attorney says bail was set too low on previous charges against the man who is a suspect in the deadly incident at the Waukesha Christmas Parade Sunday night.

District attorney John Chisholm issued a statement Monday morning detailing previous charges against 39-year-old Darrell Brooks, including a case from earlier this month in which Brooks was charged with second-degree recklessly endangering safety, felony bail jumping, battery, obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.

In that case, court records say Brooks ran over a woman with his car at a gas station. The victim was hospitalized in the domestic violence case.

Chisholm says prosecutors requested a cash bond of $1,000 in that case, which was agreed to by the court. Brooks posted that $1,000 bail on November 11, and was reportedly released from jail on the 16th — just five days before the Waukesha Christmas Parade incident.

But Chisholm says that amount was too low considering Brooks’ previous charges — including two other second-degree endangering safety charges last summer — and the nature of the current charges.

“The bail recommendation in this case is not consistent with the approach of the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office toward matters involving violent crime, nor was it consistent with the risk assessment of the defendant prior to (the) setting of bail,” Chisholm said in a statement Monday.

He says his office is conducting an internal review of how it happened.

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Authorities say they believe Brooks may have been speeding away from the scene of a domestic violence incident in Waukesha when he allegedly drove into the crowd of people, injuring more than 40 people and killing at least five.

Brooks was also arrested on July 25, 2020, for allegedly shooting at a family member the day before after getting in a fight over a cell phone. At the time, he was charged with two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety using a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a felon.

When he was arrested, officers found a loaded 9mm handgun and a baggie with three pills that later tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine several feet away from the air mattress he was sitting on at the time, court documents say. That handgun was reportedly stolen from Greenfield.

According to the documents, Brooks was convicted of felony substantial battery following an incident in December 1999.