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Man accused in Western Minnesota of fleeing, DWI in series of incidents

Law enforcement in Western Minnesota accuse a 27-year-old of felony fleeing and gross misdemeanor drunk driving, among other offenses, after he allegedly ran his pickup truck into a home in Morris, Minnesota November 2. A police officer claims that he made a traffic stop of a vehicle the man was driving. The officer claims that he believed the man was driving drunk.

During the initial traffic stop, the officer claims that the driver smelled of alcohol and had an open beer in the passenger compartment of the pickup. The officer says that when he requested that the driver get out of the vehicle for field sobriety tests, the man threw the truck into gear and fled the scene.

The officer reportedly lost sight of the pickup, but claims to have later found the truck outside a home in Morris. The truck reportedly ran into the entryway of the home, setting off the airbags. The officer says that the truck was not occupied when he found the wrecked vehicle.

During a search for the suspect, authorities spoke with a man police believe the suspect had been drinking with earlier in the night. The alleged drinking buddy told police that he and others thought that the suspect was too drunk to drive earlier in the night and paid for a cab ride home for the 27-year-old. Authorities assert that the man later jumped out of the cab.

Roughly two hours after the initial traffic stop, authorities say they got a lead on where the man may have gone. Sometime later, police say that they found the man hiding in a closet at the home of a woman. He was taken to an area hospital, where authorities claim he tried to flee again, but was taken into custody before exiting the facility.

He has been charged with felony fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle, felony criminal damage to property, second-degree DWI and other offenses. Authorities claim that the man is a flight risk, based upon allegations that he was looking for a ride to Oklahoma that night. A judge reportedly set bail at $15,000 without conditions, and $8,000 with conditions. It is not clear whether any court date has been scheduled for his next appearance.

Source: Morris Sun Tribune, “Drunk driver hits Morris home, hides from police in closet,” Kim Ukura, Nov. 9, 2012

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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