Minnesota woman tries to flee police, drives into wet concrete
A worker witnessed the woman drive through a barricade into the concrete on Seventh Street Northeast in Rochester.
ROCHESTER — A 53-year-old Rochester woman caused between $30,000 and $40,000 worth of damage after she drove through a barricade and got stuck in wet concrete after a police officer attempted a traffic stop in northeast Rochester Monday, May 16, 2022.
Around 5:30 p.m., a Rochester police officer activated the squad's emergency lights and sirens, and the driver yelled into a microphone, "Oh, look! I'm getting pulled over," according to Rochester Police Department Crime Prevention & Communications Coordinator Amanda Grayson.
The driver then cut off oncoming traffic to turn west on Seventh Street Northeast from Silver Lake Drive and accelerated at a high rate of speed, attempting to flee.
The officer deactivated their emergency lights and did not pursue.
The officer watched the driver continue at a high rate of speed, strike a construction sign and drive approximately 150 feet into wet concrete on Seventh Street Northeast between North Broadway Avenue and First Avenue Northeast.
It's department policy not to pursue vehicles unless the person is driving in such a reckless manner that there is a threat to the health and life of people, according to Rochester Police Department Captain Casey Moilanen.
The driver was taken into custody.
She is charged with two counts fleeing police in a motor vehicle, one count of first-degree damage to property and having no insurance.
Law enforcement disengaged from an earlier pursuit with the woman about an hour before her arrest.
According to Moilanen, the department has had at least nine incidents involving the woman since May 11. Moilanen said the department has received multiple complaints about the woman's driving and her using a bullhorn to yell at people.
In her words, she is "spreading the word of god," according to Moilanen.
Robert CeManko, of Chippewa Concrete, was walking back to his car after just finishing his shift laying concrete when he and his co-workers heard "all of a sudden a big, loud BANG."
When they turned around, they saw a woman had driven through the barricade and down the middle of the concrete they had just laid.
"She bottomed right out," CeManko said. "She tried spinning her tires to keep going but she just couldn't."
CeManko said that before the woman drove through the barricade, he had seen Rochester police vehicles turn on their lights behind the vehicle. That was before she drove through the barricades.
After the crash, he said, the woman refused to get out of her vehicle and was yelling and screaming as officers arrested her. CeManko said the car was stuck for roughly 15 to 20 minutes before it was towed away. CeManko and his co-workers then spent until 7 p.m. re-laying the concrete.
"We get this once a year," CeManko said. "It's early, so it may be twice this year."