The Robbinsdale City Council member charged with drunken driving and fleeing police issued a written statement Wednesday apologizing for his actions, expressing "immense shame" and announcing plans to seek treatment.
Tyler Kline, 38, sent the message from his official City Council e-mail address the day after he was charged in Hennepin County District Court with one count each of fleeing a police officer, driving while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more.
"On January 24 I made several horrible decisions that led to my arrest," Kline wrote. "I feel immense shame and regret for my actions. I put many people in danger and I am so incredibly sorry. I am lucky that I didn't seriously hurt anyone and I am truly lucky to be alive."
Kline was arrested Monday after allegedly driving the wrong way on Hwy. 100 and evading police multiple times. He posted bond late Tuesday, made his first court appearance Wednesday and has another court hearing scheduled for Feb. 23. The criminal complaint filed against him Tuesday listed his home address in Plymouth, but his court record was updated Wednesday to list the location as Robbinsdale.
"This event has led me to admitting that I have a serious addiction that I can't address on my own," Kline's statement said. "I am in the process of enrolling in a 6-week High-Intensity program at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. I want and need to be better for my family, friends, and community.
"I want to be open about this situation because I take my responsibility as a parent, friend, and public servant seriously."
Kline was elected last year and represents the First Ward. He is the legislative assistant for state Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope. He also worked as a part-time bartender at TGI Fridays, according to a campaign video during his 2020 run for City Council when he earned 60% of votes.
According to the criminal complaint: Police responded to a crash caused by a wrong-way driver at 12:36 a.m. Monday near northbound Hwy. 100 at Brooklyn Boulevard. They were told the suspect car fled the scene traveling south in the northbound lanes.
Crystal police saw the car re-enter Hwy. 100 traveling south in the northbound exit lane of France Avenue N. The officer tried to block the car, but Kline made eye contact with him and drove around the squad.
A Crystal officer used a maneuver with his squad in an attempt to stop Kline as his car exited Hwy. 100 at County Road 81 traveling the wrong way, but Kline allegedly fled. Officers eventually stopped Kline by driving a squad car into his vehicle.