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Minnesota roundup: Man OK after vehicle sails through second-story garage; plus 2 more state news stories

Law enforcement and emergency personnel rescue a man who drove his vehicle through the back wall of his garage at Mississippi Terrace Apartments in Brainerd Thursday. The man was rescued with minor injuries. Steve Kohls / Forum News Service

BRAINERD, Minn.—A man escaped injuries Thursday when he drove his vehicle through his second-story garage at his southwest Brainerd apartment slamming into the pavement below.

Brainerd police and firefighters were called at 3 p.m. and upon arrival, they found that the Jeep Grand Cherokee went straight through the back wall of the second-story garage and landed nose first into the pavement, with the back wheels still hanging to the upper level of his garage.

Brainerd Police Sgt. Paul Dooley said the Brainerd man, who was unfamiliar with the vehicle, accidentally pressed the gas, instead of the brake causing the Jeep to crash. Dooley said the man had unknown injuries and was treated on scene.

Neighbor Ann Plaisance said she was on her third floor apartment when she heard a loud explosion. Plaisance said she then heard what happened through the police scanner she has, so she headed outside to check things out and to make sure her neighbor was OK.

"He is a lovely man," she said.

Firefighters secured the back of the Jeep with their tow strap hooked up to their fire truck. Firefighters and police then worked with the man, who appeared calm, to get him out of the Jeep; he was out in less than 10 minutes and brought to safety.

Then West Brainerd Amoco hooked up the Jeep from the front end and lifted the Jeep up and then back into the upper garage to stabilize it.


Northern Minnesota man faces criminal vehicular homicide charges

WALKER, Minn.—A 31-year-old Bena man who was allegedly drinking faces criminal vehicular homicide charges after the car he was driving went off the road and hit three trees last month near Walker, killing his passenger.

Phillip C. Nelson has been charged in Cass County District Court in Walker to three felony counts of criminal vehicular homicide—including being under the influence of alcohol, having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more and having a .08 concentration within two hours of driving, among other more minor charges.

Nelson will appear in court Monday for an omnibus hearing.

The Minnesota State Patrol responded to the crash at 4:11 a.m. Oct. 27 involving a Pontiac Grand Prix that was traveling eastbound on Highway 200 when it ran off the roadway, struck three trees and rolled several times. The passenger, Samuel Joseph Wilson, 23, was pronounced dead on the scene and Nelson was trapped in the car, extricated and transported to the hospital in Park Rapids for non-life-threatening injuries.

A preliminary breath test was administered at 7:30 a.m. on Nelson which revealed a blood alcohol concentration of .172, the complaint stated.


Homeless woman robs disabled man of pills

CROOKSTON, Minn.—A homeless Crookston woman faces multiple felony charges after a man who previously took her in said she forced her way into his home, assaulted him and stole his prescription pills Sunday, police said.

Amy Sue Clausen, 41, was charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling and theft, all felonies. She faces additional misdemeanor charges of interfering with an emergency call and assault for her alleged actions Sunday.

According to a criminal complaint, a man told police he had allowed Clausen to stay with him for a brief time a few months ago. He said she knows he is disabled and prescribed many medications.

About 11 p.m. Sunday, he told police he heard a loud knock on the door of his West Second Street apartment. When he saw Clausen at the door, he said he told her to leave, at which point he said she forced her way in and threatened him. He said she demanded his drugs clonazepam and gabapentin. When he went to call 911, he said Clausen took his phone from him and threw it across the room.