Bloomington suspect in vise-throwing case arrested; bail set at $800,000

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 8, 2012 - 11:02 PM
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Gerret Parks' booking photo when he was arrested in Polk County, Wis., over the weekend.

Photo: Polk County (Wis.) Sheriff’s Office, Polk County (Wis.) Sheriff’s Office

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A Bloomington man charged with throwing dangerous items at oncoming vehicles numerous times this year was tracked down and arrested late Wednesday at a relative's home in Scott County, authorities said Thursday.

Gerret Parks, 39, had been at large since he was charged Tuesday in Hennepin County with throwing objects ranging from a bench vise to gallon water jugs and something resembling an anvil along a busy 14-block stretch of Normandale Boulevard in Bloomington this winter.

Authorities located Parks at his sister's home in the Scott County portion of New Prague, and he surrendered peacefully about 10:45 p.m., said Sheriff Kevin Studnicka.

Sheriff's deputies delivered Parks to Bloomington police, and he was booked into the Hennepin County jail about 1:05 a.m. Thursday and held in lieu of0 $800,00 bail.

"He was looking a whole lot better leaving Scott County than he did when he was arrested in Polk County [Wis.]," Studnicka said, referring to the scratches and black eye Parks sported after resisting arrest Sunday night following a drunken-driving allegation in western Wisconsin.

Parks had been bailed out of jail twice in recent days, including his release from custody after driving drunk through a western Wisconsin town and fighting with police officers who were arresting him.

The only known injury from the alleged throwing incidents came last week, when a vise crashed through a car window and struck National Guard Sgt. Jon Stacke as he was behind the wheel. Stacke, of Shakopee, spent three nights in the hospital with a broken jaw, lost teeth and other facial injuries.

According to a criminal complaint made public Wednesday, 14 incidents occurred on Normandale between 84th Street and 98th Street from Dec. 29 to Feb. 27. In most of the cases, objects hit the front of oncoming vehicles and caused significant damage. Several victims reported the items came from the driver's side of another car.

Bloomington police say they have been able to link Parks to five of the incidents, and the warrant charged him with four counts of first-degree property damage and one count of first-degree assault.

Parks posted $50,000 bail early Sunday from the Hennepin County jail before being charged. By Sunday night, he was in the Polk County, Wis., jail after being arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and fighting with police. He posted $2,500 bail Monday afternoon.

While in custody over the weekend, Parks admitted feeling suicidal. According to the complaint, police found him in his cell after he used the zipper on his pants to slit both wrists, which required stitches.

According to the complaint, Parks was charged in 1994 with riding around in a vehicle and using a slingshot and BB gun to shoot out the windows of cars, homes and businesses. During the 1990s, police said, he was a suspect in 100-plus incidents of vandalism in Bloomington, Burnsville and south Minneapolis.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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