MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A driver trying to outrun state troopers didn’t even hit the brakes when he veered onto a basketball court, striking three siblings on Monday.
On Wednesday, Hennepin County prosecutors charged 27-year-old Kabaar Powell with felony and gross misdemeanors for fleeing officers and vehicular operation causing bodily harm. WCCO’s Bill Hudson continues to follow the story that left a brother and sister with life-threatening injuries.
We’re getting a better idea of how this state patrol chase was initiated and carried out. It reached speeds of 80 miles an hour and lasted six minutes.
Because it’s under investigation, the Minnesota State Patrol can’t say if protocols were being followed.
Kyle Peltier, a former marine and Iraqi war veteran, was on this playground with four of his young kids Monday morning. That’s when an SUV trying to outrun state troopers suddenly veered off Dupont Avenue and directly at the children.
“Why he’s driving in this manner, we can’t understand,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said.
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Hennepin County prosecutors charged Powell on Wednesday in a five-count complaint. The complaint says the six-minute chase hit speeds of 80 miles per hour, in which Powell blew through 22 stop signs.
And when he drove onto Bohanan Park, tearing through the fence of a basketball court, he hit the children without ever hitting his brakes. Troopers found an unlicensed and loaded 9mm pistol inside the vehicle.
“Jungle gyms and basketball courts out in a park, and the idea that some car comes and mows down your kids is just difficult to comprehend,” Freeman said.
Kayden Peltier, 2, was completely run over, breaking his neck and pelvis, lacerating his spleen and causing brain bleeding. Lilliana Peltier, 4, has multiple abrasions, contusions as well as bleeding on the brain.
A cost of innocent kids that has even the county attorney questioning the value of the pursuit.
“I think these kind of policies should discourage that kind of conduct, except in the most extreme cases. In residential neighborhoods, people’s lives, these kids’ lives are a lot more important than catching this guy in my view,” Freeman said.
Meantime, the State Patrol will only say questions regarding chase protocol are part of the ongoing investigation, so they can’t comment further. Again, this was the same vehicle which evaded troopers on Friday in a similar chase.
Powell appears in court Thursday, held on $500,000 bail.