A retired Fairfax, Virginia, police officer is dead following a crash in Wisconsin — and authorities say he may have been intentionally targeted because he was white.
Phillip Thiessen, 55, a former City of Fairfax police sergeant, died after a July 3 crash in Taycheedah, Wisconsin.
According to police, a pickup truck, driven by Daniel Navarro, 27, crossed over the center line and crashed into Thiessen, who was driving a motorcycle.
Thiessen was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a retired special agent with the Wisconsin Department of Justice as well as a former police officer.
“It is with a heavy heart that our department announces the passing of retired Sgt. Phil Thiessen,” Fairfax police wrote in a Facebook post.
“He not only served the citizens of the City of Fairfax with honor from 1990-2016, but also served in the United States Marine Corps. … You will be missed by many Phil.”
Navarro, of Fond du Lac, told investigators he had been harassed by co-workers and neighbors, and poisoned, drugged and verbally attacked by white people because of his race, authorities said.
Navarro apparently didn’t know Thiessen, but targeted him because he was white, Fond du Lac County Sheriff Ryan Waldschmidt said.
Navarro is charged with first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree recklessly endangering safety, both as hate crimes.
Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Robert Wirtz set bail at $1 million during an initial court appearance Thursday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.