A hit-and-run driver struck two U.S. Army recruiters Tuesday in Roseville, dragging one of the men, who was trapped under the vehicle for nearly three-quarters of a mile.

A 52-year-old St. Paul man was arrested after police found his abandoned Jeep Cherokee about a mile from where the men were hit near the Crossroads of Roseville Shopping Center, 1651 W. County Road B2.

When police were called about 1:40 p.m., witnesses said one man had been dragged to the intersection of County Road B2 and Prior Avenue before freeing himself from the Jeep’s undercarriage. Police found the 42-year-old Circle Pines man conscious and suffering from abrasions and a broken leg. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.

The other recruiter, a 29-year-old Brooklyn Center man, was thrown over the top of the Cherokee’s hood when he was struck. He walked away with minor injuries.

Police found the Jeep in the parking lot of a Motel 6 at 2300 N. Cleveland Av. Motel guests and staffers told police that a man had entered the lobby and asked the staff to call a taxi. Motel employees said the man acted nervous and fled when a marked police car drove through the parking lot. Within minutes, police found and arrested the man at a nearby car dealership.

The man told police he knew that he had struck two pedestrians but that he panicked and fled. He told police he heard screams and attempted to pull the man out from under the vehicle. But the recruiter who was dragged told police the driver looked under the car but didn’t help him, despite his pleas for assistance.

The Star Tribune typically does not name suspects until they are charged.

Mary Lynn Smith