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Driver charged in road-rage incident involving Olympic skier Jessie Diggins

The smile remains weeks after Afton, Minn., native Jessie Diggins won the first American women's gold medal in Olympic cross-country skiing. She shows off her medal Thursday, April 12, 2018, hours after returning to Minnesota for the first time since the Olympics. Don Davis / Forum News Service

AFTON, Minn. — The man accused of trying to run Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins off the road on Sunday, Oct. 28, was criminally charged Friday with five misdemeanors.

George G. Frost, 37, of St. Mary’s Point, was charged with assault, reckless driving, careless driving, disorderly conduct and nuisance on a public roadway, according to Afton City Attorney Fritz Knaak.

Diggins, 27, and Stillwater Area High School cross-country ski coach Kris Hansen were threatened during a three-hour roller-skiing training session in Diggins’ hometown of Afton.

Diggins said she wants to put the incident behind her.

“I don’t have any comments,” she said. “I’ve moved on. I’m focused on my training and all the good stuff that’s happening.”

Initially she just asked the police to let Frost know that what he did was not OK. The officer went to his home, spoke to his wife and obtained his cellphone number. The officer was unable to reach him and left a message on his voicemail, according to the police report.

The city, after learning of the incident, decided to press charges.

“The very unfortunate incident this past weekend is completely unacceptable behavior and we have zero tolerance for this type of aggressive, threatening and dangerous behavior. . . .Therefore we have taken legal action based on the work of the Sheriff’s office, and our own City Attorney’s review of this incident,” city administrator Ron Moorse said in a press release Friday. “The City of Afton wants to thank the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Dan Starry for their quick and professional work on this incident.”

Court records show Frost has one careless driving conviction on his record in 2010.

“We were both roller-skiing on a wide stretch of road that usually doesn’t have any traffic, and the part of the road we were on, we could see 100 meters in front of us and 100 meters behind us,” Diggins said Wednesday, noting that she and Hansen were wearing neon so they were visible to oncoming traffic.

“We saw the SUV coming, so we moved over single file on the side of the road and he buzzed us going way too fast, (so) that I could feel the wind rocking me sideways. He could’ve killed us.”

After that initial encounter, Frost came to a complete stop, then started driving next to them as they tried to pass, Diggins said.

“If we sped up, he sped up. If we slowed down, he slowed down,” Diggins said. “We couldn’t get back to the side of the road. We were forced into the middle of the road and at this point we were going up a hill, so if a car came over the other side of the hill, it would have almost no reaction time.

“That was what really freaked me out. You just don’t know what’s going to happen at that point.”

Diggins wrote the license plate number in the dirt, she said, while Hansen called 911 on her cellphone.