Dalquavis Ward, the suspect in the death of Racine Police Officer John Hetland, made his first court appearance via video conference on Monday, July 1, 2019.
John Hetland, a 24-year veteran of the Racine Police Department, was off-duty when he was shot and killed in a heroic attempt to stop an armed robbery at Teezer’s Tavern in Racine, Wisconsin, Monday, June 17, 2019.
The Racine Police Department offered a reward to anyone who could provide credible information leading to the arrest of the individual responsible for Hetland’s death. The reward grew to $82,550. In addition, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers ordered flags to fly at half staff on June 19, 2019, for Officer Hetland.
According to the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department, Ward was arrested on Thursday, June 27, 2019. The department stated that Ward’s arrest was made with the cooperation of over 17 law enforcement agencies and thousands of hours of work by investigators. The arrest came the day after Officer Hetland’s funeral, which was held in A.F. Siebert Chapel at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.
According to Wisconsin Circut Court Access, Ward has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide with use of a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The judge set a $5 million cash bond for Ward.
Ward is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing at 9 a.m. on July 17, 2019, which, coincidentally, is one month to the date since Officer Hetland was killed.
Here’s what you need to know:
Ward Had Been Released From Federal Prison Days Before the Attempted Robbery
According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Ward was released from federal prison after serving time for an armed robbery sentence on June 13, 2019. However, that is not the extent of his criminal history.
Ward has been convicted of two armed robberies, one of which was at a liquor store in Racine. He was also convicted of strangling his girlfriend in a domestic dispute in 2015. He was also convicted of disorderly conduct in 2016.
Ward is currently 26 years old with an address in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Although he has lived in Racine, Wisconsin, as well as Holt, Michigan.
Officer Hetland’s Handcuffs Were Used to Arrest Ward
In a news conference outside the Racine Police Department headquarters, Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said that when Ward was arrested, Hetland’s handcuffs were placed on his wrists.
“God bless the Hetland family and friends,” Michael King wrote on Facebook. “Through your life John you were an upstanding person. It was a pleasure to have met you. Rest in Peace John today YOUR HANDCUFFS are on your murderer’s wrist. God Bless.”
Hetland’s obituary says that he was a proud & loving father, beloved son, dear brother, faithful friend, dedicated police officer & ambassador of Racine and hero to all who lost his life while saving others on Monday evening, June 17, 2019.