Man enters no plea, has no additional bail in University Ave. felony hit-and-run case

Brendan O'Neil (source: Dane County Sheriff's Office)
Brendan O'Neil (source: Dane County Sheriff's Office)(WMTV)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 12:19 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -A Sun Prairie man accused of hitting and injuring a young woman with his pickup truck on University Avenue last month did not enter a plea during an initial court appearance.

Brendan O’Neil also does not have to pay any additional bail on top of the $350 he posted following the incident.

Court was held virtually on Thursday morning and O’Neil appeared by audio only.

Madison police officers responded to the intersection of Frances Street and University Avenue around 2:30 a.m. on June 21.

Investigators say O’Neil’s pickup truck hit Alize Carter when it drove through a crowd of people at the intersection and took off on Frances Street.  

Officers said they used his license plate to track down O’Neil, but he was not found at home and could not be reached by phone. He spoke to police later that afternoon.

According to the criminal complaint, O’Neil said he left the Frances St. parking garage and was driving toward University Avenue. He said there was a crowd of people and his window was rolled down. O’Neil also said several people began to hit his vehicle and tried to pull him out of the vehicle.  He said he drove through the crowd and after getting to the next light, his friend said he might have hit someone.

Officers spoke with O’Neil again on June 24, and asked if he was aware he hit someone. According to the criminal complaint he said, “with all the banging on the truck, I had no idea.”

Carter was taken to the hospital for her injuries. When she spoke to NBC15 in early July, she said bones and ligaments were broken, and she also had a concussion. She said she is facing a long road to recovery.

Alize Carter was injured after being hit by a hit-and-run driver on June 21, says MPD.
Alize Carter was injured after being hit by a hit-and-run driver on June 21, says MPD.(Alize Carter/WMTV)

The hit-and-run sparked protests, calling for police to take action and bring justice for Carter. Members of the community believe it was a hate crime against a Black woman.

O’Neil is currently charged with a felony hit-and-run causing injury. A hate crime has not been added to the charge.

His bail conditions include having no contact with Carter, cannot drive without a valid license, and needs to complete the booking/fingerprinting process at the Dane County Jail in the next 10 days.

His preliminary hearing will be August 21.

If convicted, O’Neil cannot be fined more than $10,000 or imprisoned for more than 9 months, or both.

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