A few days’ community service is the sentence for an Edina man who was among a large pack of exotic sports car drivers who roared along at more than 100 miles per hour through traffic on Interstate 394 during a spring weekend afternoon.
John T. Wanninger, 52, pleaded guilty last week in Hennepin County District Court to a misdemeanor speeding offense. Two additional misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and careless driving were dismissed.
Judge Steven Lange sentenced Wanninger to 30 days in the county workhouse, but stayed all but three days and directed him to fulfill that time with community service for a nonprofit. Wanninger was also fined $500 and assessed $78 in fees.
He will also be on probation for one year. The workhouse sentence could be revived should he commit a moving traffic offense during that year.
The State Patrol contended that Wanninger topped 100 mph on the afternoon of April 23 after he and roughly two dozen others in fancy sports cars left Morrie’s Luxury Auto and began heading west on I-394 between Louisiana Avenue and Hwy. 169.
The high-speed cruise occurred in moderate traffic, with the pricey rides zipping and weaving along for several miles on westbound I-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.
Wanninger, driving a red 2005 Ferrari convertible, was among a few others who had reversed course and were stopped by a state trooper on eastbound Hwy. 12. The remainder who were ticketed were tracked down at a gas station in Maple Plain.
Twelve in all were ticketed. Four other cases have been resolved, a guilty plea by Austin Kemmer, 24, of Fargo, to reckless driving; a guilty plea by Ethan Hoover, 28, of Bloomington, to speeding; and two others with dismissals because of a lack of evidence about who was driving.
Seven still face misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, careless driving and speed greater than reasonable-hazardous. They are: Swen Corbin, 43, Eden Prairie; Goran Vejzovic, 33, St. Paul; Dung Nguyen, 38, Brooklyn Park; John Biancini, 67, Vadnais Heights; David Morgan, 26, St. Louis Park; Adam Isaacson, 42, Eden Prairie, and Justin Krueger, 25, of Beach, N.D.
Many of the drivers belonged to Corbin’s MN Exotics and Supercars, 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 the hyper-speed cruise were Lamborghini, Maserati and McLaren.