A 52-year-old man was charged Thursday in connection with a hit-and-run accident in Roseville that injured two U.S. Army recruiters.
Enrico D. Taylor, of Minneapolis, was charged in Ramsey County District Court with three counts of criminal vehicular operation — two felony counts, the other a gross misdemeanor — after he allegedly struck the recruiters in the parking lot of the Crossroads of Roseville Shopping Center on Tuesday afternoon, dragging one of them for nearly three-quarters of a mile. Both had injuries that were not life-threatening.
“This defendant displayed a blatant disregard for the life of both victims, and he is clearly a threat to our community,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said
According to the criminal complaint, police responded to a 911 call from the shopping center, at 1651 W. County Road B2, regarding two pedestrians who’d been struck by a sport-utility vehicle.
One of the victims, later identified as Staff Sgt. Travis Torgerson, 42, was dragged underneath the vehicle before freeing himself. He suffered a broken leg, tailbone and ribs, in addition to numerous abrasions to his tailbone and lower back. Flesh on his backside was eroded to the bone, and Torgerson will require several skin grafts. The second pedestrian, identified as Staff Sgt. Michael Stroud, 29, also an Army recruiter at the shopping center, rolled over the top of the vehicle and suffered minor injuries.
During the dragging, witnesses said they saw Taylor allegedly get out of his vehicle before leaving the mall complex and use his foot to try to dislodge Torgerson, who was screaming from underneath the Jeep, but when Taylor couldn’t, he got back in and continued to drive. Witnesses also said that they saw the vehicle stop again and that Taylor tried to pull Torgerson free a second time, but he was unable to do so.
“I freaked out because my license is suspended,” Taylor told police, according to the complaint. “I turned the corner coming up the hill. I got a contact in, the light blinded me, I didn’t see him, he stepped in front of me, it was too late.”
Taylor told police he drove away and heard people screaming and he panicked. He kept driving, but Taylor said he could hear a voice coming from behind the vehicle. He said he got out and tried to free the man, who told him that his leg was stuck, but that vehicles started to pull up behind him, he said, so he drove away again. When investigators told Taylor how far he had dragged Torgerson, he started to cry.
Taylor admitted that he didn’t have insurance on the vehicle and that his driver’s license had been revoked for fleeing an officer, police said.