A Robbinsdale City Council member drove drunk the wrong way on a highway shortly after midnight Monday, caused a crash and fled police, according to charges.
Tyler Kline, 38, was charged Tuesday 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. The criminal complaint filed against Kline Tuesday listed his home address in Plymouth, but his court file was updated Wednesday and listed it in Robbinsdale.
Messages left Tuesday at multiple phone numbers and an email address listed for Kline were not returned. Kline posted bond Tuesday, made his first court appearance Wednesday and has another court hearing scheduled for Feb. 23.
Kline, who was elected last year and represents Ward 1, was in custody at the Hennepin County jail as of late Tuesday afternoon. He did not have an attorney listed for his case and could not be immediately reached for comment.
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, a gray Dodge Grand Caravan, fled the crash 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 turned on his squad's emergency lights and tried to block the car, but Kline made eye contact with him, drove around and fled.
A Crystal officer used a maneuver with his squad in an attempt to stop Kline as his car exited Hwy. 100 at County Rd. 81 traveling the wrong way, but Kline allegedly fled. Officers eventually stopped Kline by driving a squad car into his vehicle.
Kline allegedly refused to obey several orders to step out of his vehicle and was forcibly removed, the charges said.
"He smelled strongly of a consumed alcoholic beverage, had watery, bloodshot eyes, and had poor balance," according to the complaint.
Kline provided a breath sample at 1:22 a.m. that allegedly showed a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.20, the charges said.
Court documents did not specify the nature of the crash or whether anyone was injured.
Kline 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.
His chair was empty at the council dais Tuesday night during a brief special meeting to discuss a redistricting plan. "Everyone is here except Council Member Kline," said Mayor Bill Blonigan at the start of the meeting. There was no discussion of the charges against Kline and they adjourned within 10 minutes.
Blonigan and Rest did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Staff writer Kim Hyatt contributed to this report.