A Blue Earth County man with a history of drunken-driving convictions is facing yet another charge — this time for allegedly driving drunk while on his riding lawn mower.
Annoyed that a police car was following him July 20 as he drove his lawn mower down the street in the city of Madison Lake, Thomas Grothe hit the brakes and confronted the officer.
Grothe, 60, wound up charged with drunken driving after blowing a 0.283 on his blood alcohol test, more than three times the legal limit.
“He was following me,” Grothe said in an interview Thursday, referring to the officer. “When I stopped at a stop sign, I got off to see what he wanted.”
Grothe said he had been mowing around a storage unit when he ran low on gas. After gassing up his mower, he was heading back to the property when he was stopped at about 7:45 p.m.
According to a police report, a Madison Lake officer saw Grothe drive in “an erratic manner” on the wrong side of the road and stopped him.
Grothe said Thursday that he was not on the wrong side of the road. “He didn’t stop me,” Grothe said. “I stopped at the stop sign and was gonna go back and see why the hell he was following me.”
Grothe said police impounded his riding mower.
According to court records, Grothe’s driver’s license had been canceled as inimical to public safety at the time of his arrest.