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La Crosse woman, 85, charged with attempting to run over her daughter

La Crosse woman, 85, charged with attempting to run over her daughter

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An elderly woman was scheduled to be charged Thursday with second-degree recklessly endangering safety after attempting to run over her daughter with a car.

Judge Ramona Gonzalez issued a $1,000 bench warrant for Phyllis Prokes Oct. 3.

Prokes, 85, of La Crosse, is accused of speeding up her car and deliberately trying to hit her daughter as she biked across a crosswalk on Copeland Avenue near Festival Foods.

According to the criminal complaint:

Phyllis Prokes mug

Phyllis Prokes

Prokes was driving northbound on Aug. 24 when her daughter and three friends were crossing the street on their bikes while the yellow pedestrian crossing lights were flashing. The victim claims Prokes’ vehicle cut her off and was just 2 inches shy of hitting her, according to the criminal complaint.

One of the victim’s friends confirmed the vehicle sped up and swerved quickly toward the victim, according to the complaint.

The victim told her friends the vehicle looked like her mother’s. A few days later the victim called her aunt, and Prokes, who was at the aunt’s home at the time, told the aunt to tell her daughter that “I tried to run her over on Saturday.”

Concerned for her safety, the victim contacted police Aug. 29. She noted she had not had contact with Prokes for the past year but was the target of “negative and hateful” online posts by her mother.

When visited by officers, Prokes said she had seen her daughter in the crosswalk and asked whether “that (expletive)” called the incident in. Prokes admitted to police she had made the comment on the phone about running her daughter over but that it was a joke, and she wanted to get her daughter “riled up,” according to the complaint.

Prokes told officers she was unaware of the flashing crosswalk lights and slowed down when she saw her daughter crossing the street.

However, she commented to police that “if she knew (her daughter) was part of the bike group ahead of time, she would have run (her) over.” Prokes then told police she was going to go to the victim’s house and “do something to her.”

When officers came to arrest Prokes, she told officers she wanted to call her daughter and “give her a piece of her mind.” The arresting officer advised her not to do so, according to the complaint. The victim was granted a temporary restraining order against Prokes Oct. 3.

Prokes shared her account of the incident and commented on her night in jail on her Facebook page on Sept. 4.


Phyllis Prokes, 85, of La Crosse, is accused of speeding up her car and deliberately trying to hit her daughter as she biked across a crosswalk on Copeland Avenue near Festival Foods.

Emily Pyrek can be reached at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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General assignment reporter

Emily Pyrek covers health, human interest stories and anything involving dogs for the La Crosse Tribune. She is always interested in story ideas and can be contacted at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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