MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two men have been sentenced to at least seven years in prison after assaulting a Minnesota State Patrol trooper in December of 2018.
On Tuesday, Faribault County Attorney Kathryn Karjala announced Montrell Smith and Anthony Enriquez were sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to first-degree assault of trooper Doug Rauenhorst on Dec. 20, 2018.
According to the criminal complaint, the incident began when the trooper initiated a traffic stop on a Jeep on Interstate 90 in Faribault County for a traffic violation. Another trooper also responded to assist.
After the troopers approached the vehicle, the driver, Smith, accelerated rapidly. The trooper on the driver’s side was partially inside the Jeep as it was accelerating and was dragged alongside the vehicle as it began eastbound on I-90, the complaint said.
When the trooper attempted to shift the Jeep into park, the passenger, Enriquez, put the vehicle back into gear and assaulted the trooper with his hands in an attempt to force him from the vehicle. The trooper was eventually forced out of the vehicle and sustained serious injuries.
Enriquez admitted to assaulting Rauenhorst and possessing marijuana at a plea hearing on January 31, 2020 and was sentenced to prison for 86 months. Smith also admitted to assaulting the trooper and possessing marijuana at a plea hearing on January 6, 2020 and was sentenced to prison for 84 months.
In a statement in court, Rauenhorst described how his life has been impacted since being assaulted.
“The assault was life-altering for me. I will have to deal with repercussions from it for the rest of my life. It has affected my ability to advance in my career, and it has affected me and my family in so many ways. It makes me very sad that my children had to see me go through this, as it has changed the way they view the world,” he said.
Rauenhorst said he returned to work in June of 2019, but soon realized he could not remember things he was doing at work and had difficulty sleeping. Therefore, he was taken out of work again. Then in June of 2020, he was cleared to work again and said in a statement, “I hope this goes well.”