The suspect in the death at a Sam's Club had a blood- alcohol level more than five times the legal limit, according to charges, and he admitted he felt his car run over someone.
A man accused of running down and killing a woman in front of a Bloomington store had a blood-alcohol level that was more than five times the legal limit, according to charges filed Friday.
Anthony Phillip LaSalle, 36, was charged with third-degree murder and three counts of criminal vehicular homicide. His blood-alcohol level was 0.41 percent, according to the charges. The legal limit in Minnesota is 0.08 percent.
The charges say that he admitted to drinking a half-liter of vodka Wednesday and that he said he fled because he had been drinking.
LuAnn Marie Johnson, 66, of Burnsville was struck as she walked into Sam's Club at 200 W. American Blvd. on Wednesday night. Police said she was in a marked crosswalk about 7 p.m. when a vehicle knocked her to the pavement. The man driving momentarily stopped, and a man believed to be Johnson's husband screamed, "No, no, no!" and tried to prevent the car from driving off.
Instead, LaSalle gunned the engine and drove over Johnson, hitting her and dragging her 10 feet as he sped away, a witness said. Johnson died at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
The car then sideswiped a parked vehicle before leaving the parking lot and heading west on American Boulevard. Police stopped LaSalle, of Bloomington, when he hit another vehicle two blocks away at the intersection of American Boulevard and Lyndale Avenue. According to the charges, police stopped LaSalle's vehicle and tried to make contact, but LaSalle refused to comply, saying officers "would need to kill" him. Officers used a Taser to subdue him, said Sgt. Marty Earley.
LaSalle was taken to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina to treat a cut on his head and to take a blood sample to measure his alcohol content, the charges said.
He knew he had to stop
He was later taken to the Bloomington Police Department, where a preliminary breath test taken at 2 a.m. the following day registered more than 0.20. Twelve hours after that test, LaSalle agreed to speak to officers.
According to the charges:
LaSalle drank a half-liter of vodka before driving to Sam's Club, where he parked his car. Upon leaving his parking space, he accelerated rapidly and felt the vehicle run over someone, the charges said. At the time, LaSalle admitted he assumed it was a pedestrian who had walked in front of his vehicle. He then felt the front and rear left tires drive over the person as he fled. LaSalle also said he knew he was required to stop but did not do so. He admitted that he decided to flee because he had been drinking.
He was convicted of gross-misdemeanor drunken driving in 1992, court records show.
LaSalle is being held in the Hennepin County jail on $500,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.
Services for Johnson will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Bloomington Baptist Church, 4300 W. 98th St. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at White Funeral Home, 12804 Nicollet Av. S., Burnsville, and one hour before services at the church.