New complaint says Darrell Brooks promised marriage, threatened victim in earlier car attack

Bruce Vielmetti
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The driver accused of killing six people at the Waukesha Christmas Parade last month faces new charges of trying to intimidate a woman he was charged with running over about three weeks earlier.

Darrell E. Brooks Jr., 39, was free on $1,000 bail from that Milwaukee County case when authorities say he intentionally drove into the parade on Nov. 21, striking and injuring dozens of participants and spectators.

Alarm over why Brooks was free on just $1,000 bail in the Milwaukee County case prompted a deeper look. He had been charged Nov. 5 with recklessly endangering safety, bail jumping, and three misdemeanors, including domestic violence battery and disorderly conduct.

Darrell Brooks appears on Nov.  23, 2021, in Waukesha County Court. He is charged with killing five people and injuring nearly 50 after plowing through a Christmas parade with his sport utility vehicle on Nov. 21.

More:A pretrial service agency labeled Darrell Brooks a high risk for release weeks before the Waukesha parade tragedy

More:What we know about the Waukesha Christmas Parade attack

Since then, the victim in the earlier case came forward with additional information, Deputy District Attorney Matthew Torbenson said.

According to a complaint:

After an argument with his girlfriend, he struck her with his fist, and a short time later ran her over at a gas station. She suffered a dislocated left leg and broken right ankle. Brooks was driving the same red Ford Escape that was seen later tearing through the Waukesha parade.

She told police she believed Brooks was going to kill her.

A new complaint filed Monday charges that while he was jailed, from Nov. 5 to Nov. 15, Brooks made several calls to the woman in violation of a court order not to have any contact with her. All jail phone calls are recorded.

His first call was before charges were filed. On Nov. 4, he tried to persuade the 30-year-old woman not to cooperate with authorities. "I’ve come to the realization that I’m not going to leave you. You have my daughter, I know your potential, what you can be. I want to marry you.”

He told her he was facing 60 years and might die in prison. “Think how bad that would make my momma feel. Think of how much pain that would be on her, this is all stuff you wasn’t thinking about when you opened your mouth.”

Over the course of several more phone calls, Brooks became more accusatory and threatening toward the woman. In some calls, he and the victim speak as though the victim is a third person. In one, Brooks tells her, "I hope she realizes the mistake she made, I hope she realizes what she did and I hope she never do anything that stupid ever again.” 

On another call, Brooks seems unsatisfied and upset when the victim says she told prosecutors she had been drinking, had tripped and fallen and that "he didn't do it." He says he wanted her to say everything had been fabricated in her earlier statements.

"You need to learn to shut your (expletive) mouth. (Expletive) then,(expletive).” 

On Nov. 11, the day his mother posted the $1,000 bail, Brooks called her to say he was concerned he couldn't reach the woman, but his mother agreed that if the woman did as she was told, prosecutors would have to dismiss the case.

More:Commissioner who approved $1,000 bail for Darrell E. Brooks Jr. reassigned to non-criminal division

​​​​Brooks was not immediately released after the bail was posted because of a hold on him from Waukesha County, on a warrant in a child support case.

On Nov. 15, he called the woman again and berated her for not paying the bail, "for some (expletive) you caused."  When she tried to say Brooks had attempted to do something to her, he cut her off abruptly.

"Nah, I didn’t try to do anything because if I tried to do something you wouldn’t be on the phone now. That’s what you’re not realizing. " 

In a second call that day, Brooks accused the woman of continuing to talk with investigators. She replied they're sending her emails.

“(Expletive), shut your (expletive) mouth. You still can’t humble yourself so if you still talking this dumb (expletive) , I’m gonna do it for you. Either way, you gonna do it yourself and bow down (expletive) or I’m gonna make you. Now which one you want?” 

Brooks goes on to say the woman shouldn't be confident about protection "because you on my (expletive) turf, remember that."

The new complaint charges Brooks with intimidating a victim, intimidating a witness by a person charged with a felony, and felony bail jumping.  He remains jailed in Waukesha on $5 million bail in the parade homicide cases.

Contact Bruce Vielmetti at (414) 224-2187 or Follow him on Twitter at @ProofHearsay.