Loud radio infuriates Gophers fan, leads to standoff in Eagan

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2013 - 6:48 AM

Eagan man charged after standoff with SWAT team.

An Eagan man really didn't want to know how a Gophers basketball game ended before he'd had a chance to watch the recording.

So much so that when a utility contractor working outside his home blared a sports talk-radio station that gave away the outcome, he became infuriated. He allegedly threatened to shoot the worker, and then holed himself up inside his house. That triggered a standoff with a SWAT team and police negotiators that lasted more than three hours.

Dan Drobac, 32, was charged Thursday in Dakota County District Court with felony terroristic threats in connection with the Jan. 18 incident.

The standoff, which started shortly after 9:30 a.m. on a Friday morning, prompted Eagan police to close roads around Drobac's home in the 1600 block of Woodgate Lane after he wouldn't come out of the house. He was arrested after things calmed down about 3 1/2 hours later.

The utility worker told police she was playing the sports station KFAN loudly so she could hear it while she worked on a utility box, according to the criminal complaint. She said Drobac yelled at her, then came out of the house screaming, "I'm not kidding. I'm going to [expletive] shoot you," according to the complaint.

Officers found a large kitchen knife in the snow about 10 feet from the utility box, the complaint said.

The woman called 911, and when police couldn't make contact with Drobac, roads were closed around the house and a recorded message was sent to about 238 homes advising the residents to stay inside until the incident was over. Police also said they worked with a nearby school to make sure bus transportation wasn't interrupted.

About 12:50 p.m., officers "made contact" with the defendant and arrested him, the complaint said. No guns were found in the house.

Drobac told police that he was watching the Gophers game from the previous evening, which he'd recorded, when he heard the worker's radio. He admitted he was upset because the announcers were talking about the outcome of the game.

He admitted yelling out of his window, "but he believed he just told the person to turn the radio off. He denied throwing a knife at the contractor, but admitted he owned a knife set that matched the knife police found in the snow," the complaint said.

"Who in their right mind yells that out the window?" said Eagan Police Chief Jim McDonald. "Many would agree that's just not normal behavior. Turns out he was intoxicated. ... Believe me, we'd rather not respond to those calls," he said. "But when someone says that stuff, we have to."

Drobac has no criminal history, but police said he was recently taken to a detox facility. He will make his next court appearance April 22. Calls to his home Monday were not answered.

By the way, the Gophers lost that game to Michigan, 73-85.

Pat Pheifer • 952-746-3284

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Dan Drobac