More charges have been levied against nine of the 12 exotic sports car drivers who were ticketed on allegations of roaring along at more than 100 miles per hour in a pack on I-394 on a spring weekend afternoon.
Along with the initial charge of reckless driving, the nine defendants now face additional misdemeanor counts of careless driving and speed greater than reasonable-hazardous.
The high-speed cruise occurred in moderate traffic on April 23, with the pricey rides zipping and weaving along for several miles on westbound Interstate 394 and then onto Hwy. 12. Social media sizzled for some time after the drivers were ticketed. Some believed law enforcement was too heavy-handed, while others were outraged by the pack’s behavior and viewing them as among the privileged elite.
One of the accused, Swen Corbin, recently shared on Twitter a car decal that read “#394guys” and was accompanied by the message “Embracing the world I live in.” Corbin’s attorney denies his client made that posting.
Many of the drivers belonged to Corbin’s MN Exotics and Supercars (MNE & S), an invitation-only club in the Twin Cities that touts itself as “one of the most exclusive” for high-end cars in Minnesota. Among the models represented on this hyper-speed cruise were Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati and McLaren.
The cars that were stopped by law enforcement — and the several others that were not caught — left Morrie’s Luxury Auto sales near Louisiana Avenue late that afternoon.
Rolf Sponheim, the city attorney for Minnetonka who is prosecuting the cases, said Wednesday that the additional counts were filed because “these were the charges that fit the facts.” He declined to be more specific.
Asked whether putting a heavier prosecutorial thumb on the defendants might inspire guilty pleas, Sponheim said, “We are open to those discussions.”
Three cases have been resolved, one with a guilty plea by Austin Kemmer, 24, of Fargo, to reckless driving, and two others with dismissals. The prosecution said it dropped those cases because it lacked enough evidence to prove who was driving.
The nine now facing multiple counts are: Corbin, 43, Eden Prairie; John Wanninger, 52, Edina; Goran Vejzovic, 33, St. Paul; Dung Nguyen, 37, Brooklyn Park; John Biancini, 67, Vadnais Heights; David Morgan, 25, St. Louis Park; Adam Isaacson, 42, Eden Prairie; Ethan Hoover, 27, Bloomington; and Justin Krueger, 24, of Beach, N.D.
The new charges note that at least one of the sports cars, a low-slung Lamborghini, touched 110 mph — double the limit — between Louisiana Avenue and Hwy. 169. The charges further alleged that an “average speed calculation” concluded that some of the cars averaged 100.7 mph from start to finish that afternoon.
Thomas Shiah, Isaacson’s attorney, scoffed at the average speed calculation, branding it “internet science. ... We plan to challenge the charges. [Isaacson] doesn’t think the charges are accurate. This is a weird deal.”
Wanninger’s attorney, Mitchell Robinson, said there’s “no direct evidence” he’s seen that puts his client in the pack, and the case against him is nothing more than “guilt by association.”