A 40-year-old man has admitted to throwing dangerous items, including a bench vise and gallon water jugs, at oncoming vehicles numerous times last winter along a stretch of busy road in Bloomington.
Gerret Parks, of Bloomington, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court to first-degree assault and is expected to receive six years and three months in prison when he is sentenced next Tuesday, the county attorney's office said Wednesday.
In one of those acts, Parks threw a vise through a car window and struck National Guard Sgt. Jon Stacke, an Iraq war veteran, as he was driving.
Stacke, of Savage, spent three nights in the hospital with a broken jaw, lost teeth and other facial injuries from the Feb. 27 blindsiding.
As part of his sentence, Parks must also pay restitution to Stacke and others whose vehicles he damaged between late December and late February along 14 blocks of Normandale Boulevard, even though charges in those instances were dropped, the county attorney's office said. Stacke is the only person known to have been injured by the items Parks threw.
In court Tuesday, Parks admitted to drinking heavily at the time of the incidents and remembered very little of what happened. However, he said he did not doubt the reports and admitted to the misdeeds.
Parks was tracked down and arrested on March 7 at his sister's home in New Prague. Just that previous Sunday, he suffered scratches and a black eye after resisting arrest following a drunken-driving allegation in Polk County, Wis.
In all, police tallied 14 incidents that occurred on Normandale between 84th Street and 98th Street from Dec. 29, 2011, to Feb. 27. In most of the cases, objects hit the front of oncoming vehicles and caused significant damage. Several victims reported that the items came from the driver's side of another car.
Parks has a long history of property, traffic and alcohol-related crimes, according to state records.
As a 20-year-old, the Bloomington Jefferson High School graduate was sentenced to 18 months in prison for third-degree burglary and property damage after stealing the glass roof of a 1984 Corvette and inflicting $1,600 worth of other damage to the car, which had been parked in Bloomington.
That prison sentence was stayed in favor of 10 years' probation. Parks still served 135 days in the Hennepin County workhouse.
Since then, Parks has been convicted of numerous crimes, including property damage, burglary and drunken driving, according to state records.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482