A Brooklyn Center man has been accused of driving his boat on a lake while drunk, striking a child with the boat and swimming away from police when they tried to arrest him.
Aaron Fruen, 39, was charged Monday with 11 gross misdemeanors, including operating a motorboat while intoxicated, criminal vehicular operation and fleeing an officer. He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 28.
A probable cause statement filed in Hennepin County District Court detailed Fruen’s dangerous drive, which was witnessed by several people.
Fruen was driving a boat on Twin Lakes in Brooklyn Center on the evening of June 24, according to the filing. A male passenger and a 5-year-old child also were on board.
Fruen was speeding toward a beach, according to one witness whose son was swimming in the lake. The boy tried to dive underwater to avoid the boat but was struck.
The boat then sped off. Another witness called 911 and saw Fruen walk to a house by the lake, get inside a vehicle and drive to a boat access point.
Brooklyn Center officers and a Hennepin County deputy arrived at about 7 p.m. The deputy noticed red marks on the shoulder blades of the boy hit by the boat.
The officers approached Fruen as he was loading the boat onto a trailer. Fruen then jumped into the lake and swam along the shoreline.
Fruen refused several orders to come back and swam toward the middle of the lake, according to the filing. He returned to shore only after the deputy went to get his water vehicle.
The deputy noticed Fruen had bloodshot, watery eyes, struggled to maintain his balance and smelled strongly of alcohol, according to the filing. He looked down at the ground and refused to give his name.
He was arrested and taken to the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, repeating on the way that police did not see him drive the boat.
Once at the Sheriff’s Office, he interrupted the deputy several times, saying “Did you actually see me operating that or no?” and “You’re a fabulous human being.”
He later consented to a breath test. He recorded an alcohol concentration of 0.18 — more than twice the state’s legal limit for driving.
Officials searched the boat and found an empty bottle of Fireball Whisky and empty Leinenkugel beer bottles, according to the report.
Fruen was convicted of driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated in 2011, according to court filings. He was also convicted of disorderly conduct in 2017 and speeding in a vehicle earlier this year.