A 21-year-old Saukville man charged with hit-and-run causing injury after striking a pedestrian over Fish Day weekend changed his plea from "not guilty" on Thursday, canceling a jury trial set to start next week.
Michael Frey is now found guilty on charges of hit-and-run, as well as charges for possession of narcotics and possession of a controlled substance for items found in his car after it was impounded. He will appear in court at 3 p.m. Jan. 23 for a sentencing hearing.
If convicted of all three charges, Frey faces four years, three months and 30 days in prison as well as $20,500 in fines.
More from the police reports:
Frey, 20 at the time of the accident, said he did not see the victim, Chris Morano — who turned out to be a friend — until the impact occurred on July 22, according to police reports. Port Washington officers down the street witnessed the accident at 1:33 a.m. in the 100 block of Franklin Street, and "saw a male subject fly up into the air, flip and land on the ground," according to police reports.
Frey told officers he fled the scene because he panicked and didn't know what to do. He asked officers the name of the victim, and upon learning it was Morano "became immediately upset," according to police reprots. Frey said Morano was friend who had likely recognized him while driving and came out to say "hi."
After leaving the downtown area, Frey headed toward Upper Lake Park. Officers note that he passed a clearly marked police vehicle on Lake Street while fleeing the scene.
After posting his $500 bond in connection with the hit-and-run charges, Michael Frey stopped at the Port Washington Police Department, as well as the district attorney's office, to request access to his car to retrieve a few items, including an iPod.
Frey's car had been impounded after the accident that sent Morano, 22, to the hospital with a head injury and bruises in his left elbow, according to police reports.
In the meantime, Port Washington officers had learned from an unidentified person that Frey had a secret compartment below the shifter of his car, in which he kept drugs.
Officers told Frey they would retrieve the iPod, and also conduct a search for other valuables. In doing so, they found 33 Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills in an unlabeled bottle below the shifting compartment; they also found a bag of Suboxone films.
Suboxone is a substance used to treat dependence to opioids, according to Suboxone.com. Oxycodone Hydrochloride is an opioid, according to FDA.gov.
In talking with police, Frey said he was not a drug dealer and that he "had a problem ... (and) started to use the Suboxone to help his problem," the report said.