It's 10:10 p.m. on the interstate in rural Juneau County.
A Wisconsin State Patrol trooper on a motorcycle stops a car.
The lone trooper runs checks on the driver and passenger and discovers that there are warrants outstanding for both of them.
Wisely, the trooper waits for a sheriff's deputy in a patrol car but, before the county officer arrives, the man backs his car into the trooper and his motorcycle before the couple flees the scene.
The trooper was thrown into a ditch but was released after treatment at a Mauston hospital.
Nothing justifies the conduct of the fleeing suspects but the state patrol must share some blame here.
What on earth were they thinking with having a lone state trooper on a motorcycle out on the interstate at night?
It's bad enough that the state patrol operates one man patrol cars but a motorcycle? At night? In a rural area?
I have over 30 years law enforcement experience but you don't have to have that to figure out that it's simply asking for trouble to put a lone trooper on a motorcycle at that time of day in that location.
A lone trooper in a patrol car is bad enough but at least the patrol car offers some cover if he or she is shot at or if someone tries to ram the patrol vehicle.
A motorcycle offers much less protection.
True, motorcycles have a legitimate role in law enforcement. They can often go where cars can't and may get an officer to the scene faster.
But it makes no sense at all to unnecessarily risk the safety of our troopers as was the case here. Not only doesn't it make sense, it's utterly indefensible.