Former Vulcan's fire truck suspected in St. Paul hit-run

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 31, 2011 - 11:16 PM

St. Paul city attorney's office probably won't decide whether to file charges for a few weeks.

A Vulcan fire truck allegedly backed into a parked car Saturday night and then into a retaining wall before taking off despite two witnesses' attempts to stop the vehicle, St. Paul police said Monday.

The vintage truck was later found unattended, and its owner, who was driving Saturday during the Winter Carnival, told police on Monday that he thought he had hit ice instead. He had no recollection of being asked to stop, said police spokesman Andy Skoogman.

It's the first hit to the Winter Carnival Vulcan Krewe's image since the 2005 Vulcan King pleaded guilty to fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct for touching and kissing waitresses at Alary's Bar, which resulted in some reforms in Vulcan policies. Winter Carnival CEO and President Beth Pinkney declined to comment on the latest incident because of the active investigation.

"We take this very seriously, as does the [Vulcan Krewe and Imperial] Order of Fire and Brimstone," she said.

Pinkney said that the truck owner is a Vulcan alumnus, and that there were no 2011 Vulcans in the truck that night. Records show that the truck owner was a Vulcan in 2006.

According to police: A witness on the Eagle Street Grille's back patio at 147 W. 7th St. saw the truck back out of the alley and hit a parked car about 9:30 p.m., causing minor damage to the car's rear bumper. The witness yelled at the driver and alerted the restaurant's owner, who then saw the truck back into a retaining wall.

The owner jumped onto the driver's side running board and tried to get the driver to stop and show insurance information, Skoogman said.

"All the witness says is that the driver ignored him and drove away," Skoogman said. "There's no indication that the driver said anything."

There were three to four passengers in the truck's bed, he said. It's unclear whether the driver had been drinking that night, but he told police Monday that he was not intoxicated, Skoogman said.

Police found the truck about 11 p.m. parked behind Alary's Bar at 137 E. 7th St. The truck was impounded, but the driver was not reached until Monday, Skoogman said. He told police the group dispersed after arriving at Alary's, Skoogman said.

Neither Vulcan President Aaron Alderman nor the truck owner returned calls seeking comment.

The case has been turned over to the city attorney's office for possible charges.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708

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