DUI, obstruction charged in Minneapolis police officers' arrest
Two Minneapolis cops face disciplinary action after an early morning crash in Columbia Heights.
Chao Xiong, Star Tribune
Two Minneapolis police officers, who are engaged to each other, were arrested in Columbia Heights early Tuesday after one allegedly drove drunk into the back of a parked truck and the other was twice stunned with a Taser for resisting police.
Officer Lindsay E. Anderson, 29, drove a car into a parked truck which then crashed into a car in the 4000 block of Washington Street about 1 a.m., according to a Columbia Heights police report. Later, as she sat in a Columbia Heights squad car, she tried to persuade an officer to release her "as she was a police officer that went through the same training as I did," the report said. When the officer refused, she swore at the officer, displayed her middle finger and said she would "never give any Heights officers a break and that she would be looking for them," the report said.
Meanwhile, her fiancé, officer Steven J. Herron, 34, repeatedly refused police orders and had to be physically restrained and then stunned with a Taser, the report said. The off-duty officers were in a private vehicle. Neither could be reached for comment Tuesday night.
Minneapolis interim Police Chief Tim Dolan said the department takes firm disciplinary actions against officers who drive under the influence while off duty and those who violate the public's trust. He didn't answer questions.
Three Minneapolis police officers were arrested between August and January in alcohol-related incidents, including two drunken-driving cases. Police didn't have updated information Tuesday evening on the status of those officers.
Columbia Heights Capt. Bill Roddy said that Herron was ticketed for obstructing the legal process and that Anderson was charged with driving while intoxicated over 0.20, a gross misdemeanor. Both were booked into the Anoka County jail and have been released, Roddy said.
Anderson is assigned to the Third Precinct on the South Side and joined the force in 1999. Herron works in the First Precinct, which covers downtown. He joined the force in 1997.
Police spokesman Ron Reier said the officers will be assigned to non-street duties pending an investigation by Columbia Heights police and the Minneapolis department's internal affairs unit. They will not be responding to 911 calls or using squad cars, although they will keep their guns, Reier said.
The police report gives this account of the incident:
A Columbia Heights police officer noticed that Anderson and Herron smelled strongly of alcohol and had slurred speech. Anderson was unable to produce proof of insurance for the car she was driving or her driver's license and was placed in a squad car.
As the officer interviewed the owners of the other vehicles, Anderson banged on the squad car windows. Another officer arrived and gave her a Breathalyzer test that showed an alcohol content of 0.213; the legal limit is 0.08. Herron disobeyed police orders by leaving his car to visit with Anderson. He refused to leave the squad car, and an officer restrained one of his arms. He pulled away and was stunned with a Taser after a warning.
He was stunned again when he refused orders. Officers took a loaded .38-caliber handgun from his car. Anderson said that she and Herron were drunk, the report said.