MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Diana Peltier is still rocked by the horror that played out on a north Minneapolis playground.
“I almost fell over, I’m like no, no, this is not happening Larry, this is not happening,” said the South St. Paul grandmother.
Peltier’s son, Kyle, was caring for his seven children while his wife was inside Jenny Lind Elementary School taking a test. The children were on the playground of the adjacent Bohanan Park, having fun in a place children normally feel safe.
At around 9:40 a.m. Monday, the unthinkable happened.
“The suspect crashed into a group of kids,” said State Patrol Captain Jason Bartell.
The driver of a Ford Expedition, 27-year-old Kabaar Powell of Richfield, was attempting to outrun two Minnesota State Troopers. After getting off Interstate 94 at 53rd Avenue, he sped through city streets and onto Dupont Avenue North.
That’s when he suddenly veered off Dupont and onto the grass of Bohanan Park, across a tennis court and crashing into a swing set.
Two of the kids were rushed to North Memorial Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. Lilliana Peltier, 4, has a brain bleed but is in stable condition. Her younger brother, Kayden, is the more critically hurt.
“He has a broken hip and his neck is broken and he’s the 2-year-old,” Diana Peltier said.
After crashing into the kids, Powell jumped out of the SUV and ran away from the injured children while attempting to evade the troopers. It’s that callousness and disregard for her injured grandchildren that has Diana Peltier most upset.
“I’m angry with this man, why did he do this and didn’t have a driver’s license. What was he doing with a gun in his car? This is why he was probably running,” Peltier said.
Powell was quickly tackled by troopers and arrested. A search of his vehicle later turned up a weapon for which there was no permit to carry.
“Why was he running, why didn’t he just pull over and stop? Why do my grand kids have to suffer for this crap, this is just not right,” Peltier said.
The Department of Public Safety confirms that the same vehicle was involved in another pursuit last Friday near Interstate 94 and Broadway Avenue. That chase was called off when the trooper lost sight of the vehicle after it ran through four stop signs.
While they can’t confirm that Powell was behind the wheel in that previous incident, it helps to explain why troopers were pursuing him on Monday.
Powell’s driver’s license was suspended in August of 2014. The Hennepin County Attorney has until noon on Wednesday to file charges in the case.