The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that in an early May altercation between a car and a Rice Street grocery store, police suspect that the driver of the car was on drugs, according to the charges filed against the driver of the automobile.
The man was charged with first-degree driving while impaired in Ramsey county District Court after he drove his Dodge Charger into the Winnipeg grocery store. The driver and a store employee suffered minor injuries in the incident.
According to the charges filed against the man, he crashed through the front door of the grocery store after he had rear-ended another vehicle on Rice Street. He told the police that he attempted to hit the brakes after he crashed into the other car, but he had grease on his shoe that made his food slip off of the brake pedal. As a result, his foot landed on the gas pedal, causing him to accelerate into the door.
A tree was also knocked down in the incident and there were no customers in the store at the time of the accident.
According to the charges, officers noticed that the man appeared very incoherent and confused. His speech was slurred and he was fidgeting frequently in a way that made the officers suspect that he was under the influence of drugs.
A breath test showed that he was not under the influence of alcohol. That is when police went forward with obtaining a warrant for a blood sample. The sample was to be sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing to see if he was, in fact, under the influence of drugs.
The man does have prior convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol and previous drug offenses, according to court records.
As for the storefront, it was more or less destroyed and requires rebuilding. It left an approximate 10-by-1o foot hole in the front of store, shattering a large window. Inside of the building, glass shards flew everywhere and cigarettes and groceries fell to the floor.
The employees that were in the store at the time were crashed into from behind. The cashier’s injuries were not serious, but he did have cuts on his leg as a result.
Police blocked off the area so that the store owner and his employees could clean up.
A friend of a store employee said that the sight of the store reminded him of being in Iraq again. All of the employees within the store migrated from Iraq to the United States. The store owner left Iraq in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm when the bombings became more frequent. He said he has seen worse, but was still devastated by the damage.
This made for the second time in a week that a vehicle had crashed into a St. Paul business. In the first, a man was fleeing police when he crashed into a restaurant, which injured five people.
If you or a loved one has been charged with any type of Minnesota DWI offense, contact Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, F.T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for a prompt review of your case.