A Grand Forks man faces several charges after police say he drunkenly pulled out of the VFW parking lot in East Grand Forks Sunday night before his friend was fully inside the vehicle, leading to a fractured skull.

Anthony Wayne Sayler, 35, has been charged with criminal vehicular operation resulting in bodily harm under the influence of alcohol, third-degree driving while impaired and two counts of fifth-degree drug possession, all gross misdemeanors. He made an initial appearance in Polk County Court Tuesday.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

A criminal complaint filed by East Grand Forks Police detectives states officers were sent to the VFW Sunday on reports a man was injured after being thrown from a vehicle.

They arrived and found a group of people gathered around man on the ground and a Chevrolet Sonic with its driver's door open about 12 feet away. The car's vanity plate read "ASAYLER", according to the complaint.

Witnesses told officers the victim, identified as Joseph Olson, had been thrown from the vehicle. The witnesses pointed out Sayler as the driver. Officers said they spoke to Sayler, who displayed multiple signs of intoxication.

Sayler reportedly responded "yeah" when asked if he was driving, "too much" when asked how much he had to drink and "nope" when asked if the thought he should have been driving.

Olson had shallow breath and was bleeding from the right side of his face. He was transported to Altru Hospital after being evaluated by East Grand Forks firefighters. He would later tell police he did not want to file charges against Sayler, according to the complaint.

Witnesses told police the men had been drinking heavily since about 9 p.m. Sunday before getting up to leave. In the parking lot, Sayler reportedly told Olson to get into the vehicle, but threw the car into reverse before Olson could fully enter. Olson was tossed from the vehicle, landed on his face and rolled, witnesses said.

Sayler tried to drive off but was stopped by four female witnesses, who pulled him from the vehicle, according to the complaint.

A search of Sayler's car revealed an Altoids container filled with an assortment of pills. More prescription pills were found in Sayler's pockets at booking, according to the complaint.

Olson told officers he had been diagnosed with an open skull fracture, a concussion and minor bleeding in his right ear drum. He said he and Sayler have lived together for about six months.