Exotic car club members were among a dozen drivers accused of using Interstate 394 as their own NASCAR track.
Authorities Monday named the drivers — and their rides — who were cited this weekend for reckless driving after getting stopped for speeds that topped 100 miles per hour.
“The vehicles were changing lanes and passing other motorists at high speeds,” the State Patrol said in a statement describing the behavior of the men driving a variety of exotic cars late Saturday afternoon on westbound I-394 and its Hwy. 12 extension into western Hennepin County.
Among the 12 cited was Swen D. Corbin, a 42-year-old Minnetonka resident who was pulled over in his 2012 Lamborghini Aventador. Corbin co-founded MN Exotics and Supercars (MNE & S), an invitation-only club in the Twin Cities that counts as members some of the others who were cited.
The club’s Facebook page on the morning of the pack ride teased, “be sure to watch our page around 5 p.m. for a live Facebook broadcast.” The speeders were first detected about 5:20 p.m.
On its website, the club says it’s “one of the most exclusive” for high-end cars in Minnesota, “hand selecting its members from the state’s exotic car and supercar owners. MNE & S has a wide variety of vehicles in the group, everything from American supercars to the most exclusive exotics Europe has to offer. The club meets several times a year in groups of 15 to 30 vehicles.
“All of the locations and routes for each cruise are carefully planned and concealed from public knowledge,” the club’s website explains, “to prevent any outside intervention, and to ensure the privacy of the member and their vehicle.”
When the patrol first revealed the fast and furious frenzy to the media, several of the accused drivers and others kicked around in a Facebook discussion how to deal with the situation.
“It will be easy to get [the charge] thrown out,” wrote David K. Morgan, 25, of St. Louis Park, who was pulled over driving a 2016 McLaren 675LT, which has a base sticker price of $349,500. “They didn’t actually clock us.”
Alfredo Santiago, 37, took a good-natured jab at one of his cruising buddies, saying, “I already told them Ethan Hoover wasn’t going that fast because I passed him like he was standing still.” Santiago, of Andover, was stopped in a 2011 Nissan GT-R. Hoover, 27, of Bloomington, was driving a 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo, which has 552 horsepower.
Austin J. Kemmer wrote, “I’m clearing my personal page from anything about this situation. Advise everyone else do the same.” The 24-year-old Fargo resident was driving a 2010 Nissan GT-R.
The patrol said all 12 men must appear in court on the misdemeanor charge. Some of the vehicles were stopped along westbound I-394, while others fled and were eventually detained at a gas station in Maple Plain. Others among the two dozen or so spotted have yet to be cited.
“Reckless is the most severe charge [possible] and is often used with racing or exhibition driving,” Patrol Lt. Tiffani Nielson said Monday.
The Star Tribune left messages with several of the 12 accused and three attorneys who represent some of the drivers. Messages were either not returned or comment was declined.
The patrol said it first detected the group about 5:20 p.m., when a trooper spotted Hoover’s lime green Lamborghini heading west on I-394. The low-slung sports car was clocked at 110 mph by the eastbound trooper, the patrol’s statement read, and there were roughly two dozen other sports cars “traveling well over the speed limit” nearby.
Photos of Hoover’s Lamborghini were posted Friday on the Facebook page of Morrie’s Luxury Auto, located along I-394, near where the pack was first spotted by the patrol on Saturday. A Morrie’s employee said the sports car gets its maintenance there.
Several of those cited have numerous speeding tickets on their records and various other violations, according to court records.
Hoover has been getting nabbed for speeding throughout his adult life, records show, including at least five times in Minnesota since 2006. He’s also been cited seven times for having illegally tinted windows.
Corbin has been cited for tinted windows, failing to properly display license plates, vehicle registration violations, obstructing the flow of traffic and — yes — speeding.
The patrol gave this account of the pursuit:
The trooper changed direction and gave chase with his lights flashing and siren sounding. Several of the sports cars pulled over to the right shoulder, and the trooper kept up his pursuit of the others.
Now on westbound Hwy. 12 (what I-394 becomes west of I-494), the trooper saw Hoover’s lime green Lamborghini at the front. The trooper turned his attention to other sports cars behind the Lamborghini. As the trooper got out of his squad car, the drivers “revved their engines and did U-turns” onto eastbound Hwy. 12.
The trooper caught up to the fleeing vehicles, closed eastbound Hwy. 12 and successfully flagged down seven cars.
Others still on the loose, including the lime green Lamborghini, were spotted at a Holiday gas station in Maple Plain by a police sergeant and detained until the trooper arrived and made a positive identification of the cars.
The other drivers cited, and their vehicles, include:
• John T. Wanninger, 52, Edina, 2005 Ferrari convertible.
• Justin M. Krueger, 24, North Dakota, 2009 Dodge Viper.
• Goran Vejzovic, 33, St. Paul, 2009 Audi R8 4.2.
• Adam C. Isaacson, 42, Eden Prairie, 2015 Audi R8.
• Dung M. Nguyen, 37, Brooklyn Park, 1991 Acura NSX.
• John A. Biancini, 66, Vadnais Heights, 2009 Maserati GranTurismo.
• Gholam Hossein Vatanioskooi, 56, Victoria, Minn., 2015 Nissan RPB.