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Man who struck stroller with SUV pleads guilty to reckless endangerment, intoxicated driving

A Madison man whose out-of-control SUV struck a baby stroller, leaving the child with minor injuries, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three felonies related to the incident last July on Madison’s Far East Side.

Chad S. Walsvick, 42, pleaded guilty to first-degree reckless endangerment, for striking the stroller as it was being pushed by the 10-month-old child’s grandmother, second-degree reckless endangerment, for nearly striking pedestrians and others, and driving while intoxicated causing injury, for injuries caused to the child.

The intoxication was caused by cocaine use.

Under a plea agreement, Assistant District Attorney Kyle Olson said prosecutors will ask for no more than seven years behind bars for Walsvick, who faces up to 28½ years of combined prison and extended supervision for the three convictions. Walsvick’s lawyer, Tracey Lencioni, can ask Circuit Judge Nicholas McNamara for any sentence when Walsvick is sentenced on Sept. 30.

Under the agreement, an amended charging document was filed that reduced the number of charges against Walsvick from 13 to nine. Six of those, nearly all misdemeanors, were dismissed under the agreement but can be considered by McNamara when he sentences Walsvick, and for restitution purposes.

The guilty pleas came on the day that a jury was to have been selected for a trial this week.

According to a criminal complaint, witnesses said Walsvick’s SUV was being driven fast and erratically before the July 17 incident in the vicinity of Cottage Grove Road and Acewood Boulevard. A witness told police he saw a red SUV going at least 60 mph on Cottage Grove Road, swerving around several vehicles.

A woman told police she was pushing her granddaughter in a stroller on the sidewalk along Acewood Boulevard when the SUV struck the stroller, causing the girl to fall out, the complaint states. She sustained a bump on her head and scrapes.

Another witness told police the SUV nearly struck her and her son as they walked their dog on Acewood. Another said it almost struck her daughter, who was riding her bike on Cottage Grove Road, according to the complaint.

Walsvick’s SUV crashed into a tree and caught fire. He climbed out through a window and sat on the ground, where he was “aggressive” with paramedics and confused about what had happened, the complaint states.

Walsvick is currently incarcerated at Kettle Moraine Correctional Institution after his state Department of Corrections supervision for prior convictions, including second-degree reckless endangerment and drunken driving, was revoked after his arrest.

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