Out-of-control driver ‘bared teeth,’ bit officers after crashing tow truck

MILWAUKEE --Police say 29-year-old tow truck driver Precious Murphy caused a major crash injuring others and bit officers on two different occasions. She is now facing nine felony charges, according to WITI.

An officer attempted to pull over Murphy near Pierce and Hadley on Sept. 19 after noticing she had committed several traffic violations -- but Murphy had other plans. Already on probation for a second-degree reckless endangerment conviction from 2015, family members of Murphy are hoping her run-in with the law is the wake-up call she needs.

Crash involving tow truck in Riverwest

"The last three years when she got involved with her boyfriend, it just literally went downhill," said a relative of Murphy, who does not want to be identified.

While fleeing officers in a tow truck through the Riverwest neighborhood last week, Milwaukee police say Murphy crashed into a van, seriously injuring three people inside.

Crash involving tow truck in Riverwest

According to a criminal complaint, Murphy then "bared her teeth" as officers approached the scene and bit an officer on the arm.

The complaint goes on to say officers tried to subdue Murphy by pepper spraying and using a taser on her, "which appeared to have no effect."

One relative, who wants to remain anonymous, offered some insight into Murphy's alleged behavior:

"I believe a lot of it had to do with her being under the influence," said Murphy's relative.

Murphy eventually got away in a stolen car. The next day, authorities tracked her down at a hospital 225 miles northwest of Milwaukee, where she had checked under a fake name. Once she was transported back to Milwaukee County, prosecutors say she continued to act violently at a hospital, pushed a nurse and bit another officer before finally being handcuffed.

"I think more's got to be done to monitor them and monitor closely so that people just don't fall through the system," said Murphy's relative.

In an interview with police, the complaint states Murphy admitted to fleeing police because she had a violation of probation warrant out for her arrest.

Crash involving tow truck in Riverwest

Murphy faces the following charges:

  • 2 counts of vehicle operator flee/elude traffic officer resulting in great bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater
  • 2 counts of hit and Run -- Great bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater
  • 2 counts of knowing operate motor vehicle while suspended -- cause great bodily harm, habitual criminality repeater
  • 2 counts of resisting an officer causing soft tissue injury to officer, habitual criminality repeater
  • Operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent, habitual criminality repeater

The three people in the van hit by the tow truck suffered serious injuries. The driver sustained 12 broken ribs, 2 broken legs and internal organ damage. The backseat passenger suffered a concussion.