CALEDONIA — Edwin Santiago Jr., a
Racine alderman since April, was arrested early Saturday morning following what was reported to be a police chase in Caledonia.
Details are still emerging as to what occurred and what preceded the chase. Criminal charges had not been filed by 4:30 p.m. Monday, even though the DA’s Office had issued charges in other cases from over the weekend by that time.
Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson said in an email that her office was still waiting on paperwork from the Caledonia Police Department on the case.
Santiago’s attorney, Patrick Cafferty, said Monday that his client plans to plead not guilty should charges be filed.
“Edwin Santiago is presumed innocent of all charges. He intends to enter a plea of not guilty at the appropriate time,” Cafferty said in a text message. “We urge the public to withhold judgment until all the facts are available.”
Santiago was arrested Saturday by the Caledonia Police Department and posted $5,000 to get out of jail that day, Hanson confirmed.
Santiago has not replied to multiple requests for comment.
According to the Caledonia Police Department, the arrest occurred at about 1:27 a.m. Saturday. The police report has not been released as charges are still considered pending. Correspondingly, no court appearance has been scheduled.
After advancing out of a primary, Santiago was elected in last spring’s election by a vote of 305 to 221 over Dennis Montey to represent the City of Racine’s 4th District.
When running for office,
Santiago told The Journal Times: “I had never imagined myself as a politician. However, when facing situations such as the Machinery Row controversy, being ranked as the second worst city in the country for African Americans, and having lived in District 4 for over seven years witnessing the hardships of my friends and neighbors, I made the choice to step up and be a leader for my community. People are fed up with politicians that are lazy, corrupt, immoral and connected to political dynasties. We need average citizens with more diverse perspectives to represent our diverse city.”
Santiago’s district is located just north of Downtown and is roughly bordered by the Root River, Lake Michigan, English Street, Charles Street, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Marquette Street.
53 photos showing what life has been like in Racine County throughout this infamous year: 2020
Two families ripped apart
Tyler Martinez is kissed by his fiancée, Vanessa Gaona, with whom he has two daughters, moments after Martinez was sentenced to spend five years in prison for the fatal hit-and-run crash that killed Michael Fuchsgruber on Oct. 20, 2017 in Caledonia. Martinez and Gaona were quickly pulled apart by deputies in the courtroom.
Empty Walmart shelves
In the early days of the pandemic, there was a rush on household goods, leading to empty shelves of everything from toilet paper to milk and eggs to cleaning supplies, although disruptions to the supply chain were rarely as pronounced as many feared.
The Rev. Mike Matheson of Grace Church, 3626 Green Bay Road, Caledonia, prays as he leads church services livestreamed on Facebook Live on the morning of March 22. Many places of worship have returned to in-person but socially distanced gatherings, although livestreamed services have remained as a norm throughout the year.
Rosalyn Smith, with the City of Racine Health Department, checks the temperature of a voter on as she enters City Hall on May 25. City health workers checked temperatures as a precaution to keep poll workers safe because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mayor Cory Mason was one of those calling for all voting to be by mail this year, an effort that was unsuccessful.
A sign posted alongside Highway 38, just south of Hood Creek Road near the roundabout in Caledonia, expresses solidarity in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This photo was taken in March.
Cousins Teresa McMorris, left, and Tiara Harrell gather at Harrell's house to sew filtered masks they donate to health care facilities and first responders in Racine, Kenosha and Milwaukee counties. Community members made a significant difference in the early days of the pandemic as traditional manufacturers struggled to catch up with demand for personal protective equipment.
'YOU ARE INCREDIBLY SAFE TO GO OUT'
During an extraordinary and nearly postponed April election, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, talks to a member of the media while working as a poll worker in Burlington. “You are incredibly safe to go out," he told viewers while wearing required personal protective equipment in a video that was shared widely on social media throughout the day.
Two phones, no answer
A Downtown Racine resident uses two phones to repeatedly call the Department of Workforce Development's unemployment hotline in April. She said she's been doing this for weeks with varied frequency, as her unemployment claim remains on hold with the state. Wait times to have unemployment claims often stretched for weeks, with the state's overwhelmed system and inability to correct the problem made it difficult for thousands of Wisconsinites to make ends meet.
Recounting the 12th
2020 was a year rife with recounts. Racine didn't avoid that. Pictured here: City of Racine finance and clerk's office staff conduct a recount April 17 of the more than 1,400 ballots cast in the April 7 election in City Council District 12, where incumbent Alderman Henry Perez defeated challenger Stacy Sheppard by three votes, according to the initial count.
Racine Unified recount
2020 was a year rife with recounts. Racine didn't avoid that. Pictured here: Members of the Racine Unified Board of Canvass, standing to the right, look over Caledonia ballots in question on April 18, the first day of the Racine Unified referendum recount, which had not been successful in overturning the narrow passage of a $1 billion referendum.
Swinging on a closed swingset
A man and a girl swing at Echo Park in Burlington on May 2 during a ReOpen Burlington protest, even though all playgrounds in Wisconsin had been declared off limits at the time. Stay-at-home rules, and the enforcement of those rules, have varied between states and even within municipalities within states across the U.S.
ReOPEN WISCONSIN PROTESTS
ReOpen Burlington demonstrators hold "Don't Tread On Me" and "Trump" and "Reopen Wisconsin" flags and posters along Milwaukee Avenue in May amid statewide protests opposing the soon-to-be-overturned Safer At Home order.
NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN TESTING EFFORT
From the beginning of the year through Christmas Day, 2,792,718 COVID-19 tests were performed in Wisconsin; about one-third of all those tests were performed by the Wisconsin National Guard. In Racine County, 108,771 such tests have been performed, with more than 16,800 cases of the novel coronavirus confirmed and 246 deaths confirmed in the county. Pictured here, a man is tested for COVID-19 by a National Guard member, who uses a swab to gather material from inside both of the man's nostrils in the parking lot of Burlington High School, 400 McCanna Parkway, during the busy first day of community testing in Racine County. The man's face has been blurred by The Journal Times to protect his identity.
Thanking hospital workers: Ascension flyover
Hospital workers wait for the four F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft from the Wisconsin Air National Guard to flyover Ascension All Saints Hospital on a May evening as part of the nationwide “Operation American Resolve” campaign intended to “show appreciation for the thousands of heroes on the front lines, as well as the brave citizens and neighbors who have been battling and supporting the COVID-19 response. The flyover is considered part of a regular training and proficiency mission, which is a required training to be completed by pilots to remain up to date on qualifications.
BACK IN ACTION, WITH A MASK
Summer Davis wears a face shield while standing behind the bar at The Maple Table, 520 Main St. on May 26, the first day Racine restaurants could reopen following closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Waterford graduation 2020 with face masks for COVID-19
Face masks remain mandatory inside Waterford High School, as shown at last year's graduation ceremony, after officials recently asked students and staff whether they supported relaxing the requirement for the rest of the school year.
Black Lives Matter on Monument Square
Kylie Gelmi, who was later charged with arson and burglary for allegedly setting fire to the Thelma Orr COP House, raises one fist while waving a flag that reads "Life over property / Truth over Power / Black lives MATTER" while backed by about 20 Black Lives Matter demonstrators raising both fists in the air at around 11:30 p.m. on May 31.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Protesters yell at Racine Police officers when a march arrives at the Racine Police Department on Center Street in Downtown Racine in the early morning hours of June 1. At the police station, some in the crowd started throwing rocks and bricks at officers, leading to tear gas being used to disperse the crowd after a Black Lives Matter demonstration started hours earlier on Monument Square following the death of George Floyd the week prior.
IN THE STREETS
A group of protesters sit on Main Street on June 1 during an afternoon protest that brought hundreds chanting "SAY HIS NAME!" and "BLACK LIVES MATTER!" to the streets of Racine on a day of peaceful protesting that followed a tense night in which the Thelma Orr COP House was set on fire.
SAYING HIS NAME
Demonstrators on Washington Avenue in Uptown wave signs and cheer as cars driving past, and driving below on Memorial Drive, honk in support during a peaceful protest on June 1, less than a week after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis.
Marching for justice, peace
Protesters carried signs calling for peace, justice and recognition of the Black Lives Matter movement while marching down Highway 75 in Kansasville in June as international demonstrations reached rural America.
Kingdom Manna giveaway
Diane Christensen collects baby products for her grandchildren last Saturday afternoon during a giveaway from Kingdom Manna in the parking lot of Horlick Field, 1801 N. Memorial Drive. Giveaways like this one, some privately run and others public, have become more well-trafficked and relied upon as the rates of those who are out of work have skyrocketed amid the pandemic.
NBA All-Star and Racine native Caron Butler takes the megaphone to address the crowd at a Juneteenth rally on June 19. Hundreds took to the streets in Racine and in Burlington, joining thousands nationwide, to protest racial injustices and celebrate progress on the holiday commemorating the freeing of the last American slaves in Texas more than 150 years ago.
Marching for justice, led by Carl Fields
Juneteenth marchers from the allied section of Racine's Juneteenth demonstration make their way down 14th Street on June 19, led by Carl Fields with the megaphone.
Say their names
George Floyd is just one of the names on the graves of the victims of police violence placed in Burlington during the city's first-ever Juneteenth rally.
Burlington's first Juneteenth rally
Audience members listen to speakers during the Juneteenth rally at Echo Lake Park in Burlington on June 19, 2020.
Burlington's first Juneteenth rally
Burlington Police Chief Mark Anderson, center, bows his head during a prayer that was part of Burlington's Juneteenth celebration on June 19, 2020, at Echo Lake Park.
Zoom meetings and community discussions
The above screenshot is from the first meeting of the Mayor's Task Force on Police Reform, which took place July 6. Not only was 2020 a year loaded with talks of police reform, but also a year when unprecedented amounts of social and professional and public interaction took place online — much of it via Zoom.
Park High School drive-up graduation
Jordan Mogren arrived to Park High School drive-up graduation ceremony on July 9 through the sun roof and received a kiss from his mother receiving his diploma.
Zoo beach erosion
Heavy rainfall on Aug. 2, 2020, knocked down most of the grassy bluff between the Zoo Beach foot/bike path and the lake. The path, closed since January 2020 after being deemed unsafe due to erosion, officially reopened Monday.
Racine Art Museum reopens, with masks
Annemarie Sawkins (left) and Diane Levesque (right) take in the art after the Racine Art Museum reopened on Aug. 5 as normalcy ever-so-slowly returns to the area while the pandemic rages on.
St. Catherine's Prom
While the typical Rotary Post Prom was held months later than the norm and was heavily changed from the norm, many St. Catherine's High School graduates and their dates gathered for a prom of their own at Roma Lodge on Spring Street on Aug. 8.
The sight of empty streets in Downtown Milwaukee was even more apparent on the afternoon of Aug. 17 than it has been throughout the pandemic. The Democratic National Convention was supposed to bring 50,000 people and $200 million of revenue to Milwaukee. Instead, the coronavirus has pushed the DNC online and left Milwaukee looking sleepy.
Fire during Kenosha protests
The Danish Brotherhood Lodge at 2206 63rd St. explodes while on fire, reportedly the result of rioters shortly before 11 p.m. on Aug. 24.
Unrest after Jacob Blake shooting, preceding Kyle Rittenhouse shootings
Demonstrators crowd around an armored vehicle at Civic Center Park on the night of Aug. 25 in Kenosha.
Demonstrators sit on Sheridan Road in front of a line of law enforcement after being forced to leave Civic Center Park on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
A woman bleeding from the head after getting hit with a rubber bullet is looked over by medics on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
CIVIL UNREST AFTER OFFICER SHOOTING
Law enforcement blocks off access to a burning vehicle on 63rd Street on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2020.
Kyle Rittenhouse walks along Sheridan Road in Kenosha on Aug. 25 with another armed civilian hours before before Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Illinois, shot three people, killing two of them during protests following the police shooting and paralyzation of Jacob Blake in Kenosha two days prior. Rittenhouse said he was in Kenosha to protect people. He is facing homicide and underage gun possession charges in a case that has become a cultural touchstone, with some calling him a cold-hearted killer and others painting him as a hero for using self-defense against a so-called "Black Lives Matter mob." This Journal Times photo is one of only a few showing the teen prior to the shooting, and has been published dozens if not hundreds of times by outlets ranging from
Yahoo! News to The New York Times to ABC News.
Black Lives Matter debate takes center stage in Burlington
Dozens of people turned out on the night of Sept. 14 at the Burlington High School gym for a School Board meeting during which a fourth-grade teacher's methods about teaching about racial issues were debated.
Capping off the globe
In this September photo, the Foxconn Technology Group's 100-foot-tall High-Performance Computing Data Center is topped off, with the work being led by construction manager Mortenson. The data center is located along Highway H.
Dalquavis Ward convicted
Dalquavis Ward, pictured here on Sept. 25, has been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison for the killing of Racine Police Officer John Hetland on June 17, 2019 at Teezers Bar and Grill. Hetland, who was off-duty, was killed trying to stop a robbery of the restaurant, of which Ward was convicted.
Archbishop Jerome Listecki leads more than 100 faithful past scorched Car Source lot in Kenosha
Remembering Marcus Caldwell Jr.
Paying his respects, Alliaes Williams, 18, signs a basketball Sunday afternoon at a makeshift memorial erected in tribute to Racine man/former Horlick basketball standout
Marcus D. Caldwell Jr., who was killed in a apparent shooting on the evening of Oct. 17 on Yout Street.
"Mayor Pete" stumping for Biden
Pete Buttigieg — the ex-mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and former presidential candidate who has endorsed Joe Biden — stopped at Caledonia’s River Bend Nature Center on the afternoon of Oct. 22 to speak with local Democrats and the press about the election, which Racine City Council President John Tate II (who helped introduce Buttigieg) called “the most consequential election of our lifetimes.” During a brief speech spoken while wearing a mask that read simply "VOTE," Buttigieg took aim at President Donald Trump on several fronts, from his role in race relations to his handling of COVID-19 to the economy. He said, with less than two weeks left until the end of voting, Democrats should work to connect with two groups of people: those who have not decided who they want to vote for, and those who do not yet have a plan to vote. Before leaving Wisconsin — following earlier stumps in Green Bay and Milwaukee — Buttigieg said he plans to stop at “the Cheese Castle.”
Getting out the vote efforts
Dozens of vehicles rolled through Racine on Oct. 24, honking their horns and cheering, encouraging people in the city to "vote" as part of a series of "Pack the Polls" car parades held across Wisconsin that day. Among the drivers was Jean Brosseau, showing off her "VOTE" mask. High turnout in more urban areas, like Milwaukee and Milwaukee, has been credited with helping propel Joe Biden to the presidency.
Amid a shouting match during a Burlington Area School Board meeting Nov. 9, Matt Allen points to his "All Lives Matter" sign while others chant "Black Lives Matter" during a meeting that was cut short as protesters "shut it down." Nov. 9's meeting was one of many moments where Burlington made headlines as the predominantly Caucasian community faces continuous allegations of racism in its schools, and the School Board has been charged with addressing that.
Mask requirements (sort of) continue
Staff at Lakeview Pharmacy on Racine's Monument Square work while wearing face coverings, in accordance with health codes and the statewide mask mandate from Gov. Tony Evers' office that is likely to be extended into January by order of the governor. On Nov. 18, Evers said he will be making a new order to extend the mask mandate, which otherwise would have expired on Saturday, although the extension didn't really have legal teeth to extend the mandate. In this photo, from left to right, are Kaylen Hollis, Niki Monin and Tucker Stewart.
Santa masks up
Santa Claus, with his face covered by a mask, talks with a boy during the Union Grove Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the night of Dec. 3 in the Village Square. That event was one such attempt by local authorities to provide "normal" holiday celebrations while still implementing precautions that aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Renaissance Lutheran parents, students and teachers react as a driver honks in support of their march through Racine to protest the portion of the city's Safer Racine ordinance that orders all K-12 school buildings closed from Nov. 27 to Jan. 15. Schools have been one of many legal battlegrounds, along with elections and mask orders, of how much power governments have, even under extenuating circumstances like a 100-year pandemic.
MASK UP TO BALL
JR Lukenbill, a sophomore at Burlington High School sophomore guard, shoots over Wilmot's Anthony Corona, left, and Korik Klein during their teams' Southern Lakes Conference game earlier this month. As a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19, players have worn masks in high school athletics events, including in basketball and volleyball.
BEGINNING OF THE END
Dr. Stephanie Sam, a hospitalist with Ascension All Saints Hospital, was one of the first frontline workers at the hospital to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Administering the injection on Dec. 22 was Registered Nurse Cynthia Braun. This was part of the start of the country's largest vaccination undertaking since Dr. Jonas Salk discovered the polio vaccine in 1955.