MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A St. Paul man is charged with driving drunk after slamming into a police squad car and injuring two officers.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s office says 25-year-old Daniel Sanchez Mendes was charged Wednesday with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
The criminal complaint says two St. Paul Police officers had stopped at the intersection of Seventh and Madison streets Monday and saw a red Nissan Titan heading east.
The officer driving believed the Titan was far enough away, so he began to turn westbound onto Seventh Street. Officers say the Titan was moving well beyond the 35-mile-per-hour speed limit and did not stop for them.
The Titan slammed into the rear driver’s-side door and trunk of the squad car, before spinning and slamming into another car.
The officers say the driver of the Titan fled the scene, and they were subsequently taken to Regions Hospital.
Other officers who came to the crash scene say they found seven empty 16-ounce beer cans on the Titian’s front passengers-side floor, as well as a can that still had beer inside and was cold. Officers also found an empty bottle of beer behind the front passenger seat.
Two check books with the name “David Medina Sanchez” were also found inside the Titan.
Police soon talked with a man a few blocks southwest of the crash site who said the suspect jumped into his car and said he thought he caused an accident. The man said he knew the suspect, and he was intoxicated during most of their past interactions.
Officers later saw a man who fit the suspect’s description stumbling down the street with scrapes on his legs. He confirmed to police that he had been in a car accident and was named “Daniel.” Officers say he smelled of alcohol.
The man was arrested, and told investigators that his car had been struck, and he fled the scene out of fear. He also told officers he was worried about being deported because he in the country illegally, and used an alias instead of his real name, Daniel Sanchez Mendes.
The suspect said he drank four beers before driving, and that he drank Coors Light because it was “watered-down.”
The criminal complaint says Mendes has had his license revoked two times for drunk driving, and was convicted of a DWI in 2013.
One of the officers suffered bruised ribs in the crash, while the other suffered a perforated ear drum.
Mendes could face up to seven years in prison if convicted.