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New Richmond man enters not guilty pleas in hit-and-run

Nicholas Jerome Markgraf

A 30-year-old New Richmond man ordered out of his car at gunpoint after hitting two separate occupied vehicles and fleeing authorities pleaded not guilty to all charges at a May 22 arraignment in St. Croix County Circuit Court, according to court records.

Nicholas Jerome Markgraf was charged with operating while intoxicated, fleeing a peace officer and hit and run with injury — all felonies — to go along with misdemeanor charges of OWI, hit and run, possession of cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia following the alleged May 7 incident that began outside the parking lot of Family Fresh in New Richmond.

All charges carry the repeater modifier, which allows an increase of up to two years imprisonment for previous misdemeanor convictions, according to charging documents.

Markgraf was released on $1,500 cash bond May 20, court records show, and his next court appearance is scheduled for July 19.

According to the complaint:

Authorities responded to the parking lot of Family Fresh on Fourth Street in New Richmond at 8:01 a.m. May 7 for a report of a hit-and-run.

Police were unable to locate the suspect vehicle before talking to the victim.

The victim told authorities she was waiting to turn into the Family Fresh parking lot from S. Knowles Avenue when a vehicle struck her from behind and then continued onto E. Fourth Street.

While taking down the victim's statement, a New Richmond police officer noticed the suspect vehicle turn onto W. Fourth Street and accelerate.

A St. Croix County Sheriff's deputy followed the vehicle as it struck a second vehicle, which was occupied by an adult and child, at W. Fourth Street and S. Dakota Avenue.

Markgraf turned right onto E. River Drive and stopped at W. Fourth Street, at which time he slowly opened the driver's side door and attempted to get out of the vehicle.

He repeatedly failed to follow the deputy's instructions and three law enforcement officers assisted in the "high risk" traffic stop.

One deputy noted Markgraf had "some difficulty with balance while failing to comply with verbal commands," before he was taken into custody.

A plastic bottle with a pink liquid, which tested positive for cocaine, two syringes, and instructions for use of methadone were all found inside the vehicle.

Field sobriety tests indicated Markgraf was potentially intoxicated. A preliminary breath test registered his blood alcohol concentration at 0.00.

Markgraf had a September 2014 conviction for driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

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