Suspect drives the green at Hazeltine

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 7, 2011 - 1:04 AM

Authorities said the man's car was clocked at 110 mph during a chase before he crashed it through a locked gate and damaged a practice green.

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Eduard Fermanyuk, of Foreston, Minn.

Photo: Carver County Sheriff’s Office, Carver County Sheriff’s Office

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A 22-year-old motorist fleeing a sheriff's deputy early Friday crashed through a gate at the famed Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska and landed his vehicle on a green before being nabbed while hiding under a tree, authorities said.

At one point shortly after 12:10 a.m., Eduard Fermanyuk had his 1998 Toyota Camry moving at 110 miles per hour, according to the Carver County Sheriff's Office.

Fermanyuk, whose driving history is littered with speeding and other violations, was booked on suspicion of driving after suspension, first-degree criminal damage to property, speeding, reckless driving, possession of a small amount of marijuana in a motor vehicle and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The car busted through a delivery gate and left "dents and tracks across the practice putting green" near the clubhouse before it "nosed into the bank that leads up to the driving range tee," said Hazeltine assistant golf pro Dan Suedbeck. "It took a little divot out of our bluegrass [behind the range]."

Considering the circumstances, "it could have been a lot worse," Suedbeck said.

The motorized gate, used for deliveries, was knocked off its rails and "got bent up pretty bad," he said. The damage left behind is not disrupting business, Suedbeck said, because the course is closed anyway until June for construction.

Fermanyuk's driving record over the past four years includes numerous convictions for speeding, driving on a suspended license and operating a motorcycle without proper licensing.

When not on the road, he's been convicted of illegal weapons possession, underage drinking and theft.

On the civil side of the legal ledger, Fermanyuk filed for personal bankruptcy in 2008 after accumulating $13,000 in debt and having his street bike repossessed while being an unemployed laborer, said his attorney, Barbara May.

May described him as " a sweet little boy ... decent, a pleasure to work with."

Fermanyuk recently moved in with a sister in Eden Prairie, said Inna Fermanyuk, another sister. She said her brother has been doing interior construction work and attending school.

Hazeltine has been the site for several prestigious golf tournaments, including the PGA Championship in 2002 and 2009, and the U.S. Amateur Championship in 2006. The Ryder Cup is scheduled at Hazeltine in 2016.

According to the Sheriff's Office:

At about 12:10 a.m., a deputy spotted the Camry speeding on eastbound Hwy. 5. Fermanyuk fled when the deputy, who clocked the car at 110 mph, tried to stop him.

During the 2 1/2-mile pursuit, Fermanyuk nearly hit another vehicle while attempting to pass on the right and drove east in the westbound lane of Hazeltine Boulevard before bursting through the golf course security gate.

Once on the course property, Fermanyuk hit a curb, sending his car airborne and landing on a green. He fled on foot but was soon found under a tree on the course thanks to help from Chaska police officers, a State Patrol helicopter equipped with infrared equipment and a K-9 deputy with his four-legged partner.

"We are grateful this incident ended without anyone being injured," said Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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