It was a busy Fourth of July celebration period for officers of the Forest Lake Police Department. Call totals were up over the 2013 celebration but the number of serious calls was limited, Capt. Greg Weiss said this week.
Over the celebration period from noon on Wednesday, July 2 through midnight on Sunday, July 6, police responded to 311 calls. That compares to 216 during the same period a year ago, Weiss said.
“The overall attitude of the crowd was good,” Weiss said, commenting on the general behavior during the five-day period when thousands of people drop in on Forest Lake. This year was the 90th annual holiday celebration.
One felony was reported, Weiss said. That came at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, July 4 during an incident at a lemonade stand in the 200 block of W. Broadway.
Weiss said Adam Lee Powers, 31, of Lindstrom, was arrested and jailed for second-degree felony assault. According to police reports, Powers became angry when the lemonade stand vendor dumped out whiskey from the stand’s refillable lemonade container.
Weiss said the container held the last of Powers’ liter bottle of Makers Mark whiskey. Weiss said Powers smashed the bottle and threatened the vendor with the broken bottle before police intervened. He was arrested and taken to the Washington County Jail in Stillwater where he was held on the second-degree felony assault charge.
A vast majority of the 311 calls handled by city police involved routine issues, the captain added. Police wrote 44 citations during the celebration and wound up taking 12 people to jail.
One of those was a Centerville man who was celebrating his 22nd birthday on Thursday, July 3. Weiss said police were called to the northwest corner of the American Legion Post 225 property at NW 4th Street and NW 2nd Avenue where a car had run into a tree. The incident was reported at 2:25 a.m. on Friday, July 4.
The driver of the car attempted to leave the scene but was restrained by a citizen. Police took the man to jail and he will be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
The celebration reports also included a host of calls for assistance that included fireworks complaints, parking complaints and disorderly conduct. Three driving under the influence tickets were issued during the period. Weiss added that a number of public contacts involved citizens who had open containers of alcohol that were cooperatively emptied after talking to officers.
Seven people were injured in a three-vehicle crash on TH-97 at Healy Ave. N. at 10:13 on Saturday, July 5. Three people were taken to hospitals in serious condition.
According to the Minnesota State Patrol, the crash happened when an eastbound vehicle driven by Robbin M. Elman, 50, of Osceola, Wis., was unable to stop for a vehicle driven by Taylor J. Lafferty, 21, of Forest Lake, that was stopped on eastbound TH-97 and attempting to turn left on Healy Avenue. The rear-end collision pushed the Lafferty vehicle into the westbound lane of TH-97 where it was struck head-on by a westbound vehicle driven by Karlind T. Moller, 72, of Shoreview.
Moller and a passenger, Susan M. Moller, 72, of Shoreview, were listed in serious condition yet this week by the Minnesota State Patrol. Elman’s condition was also listed at serious.
Three passenger’s in Elman’s vehicle were treated for non life threatening injuries, the State Patrol said.
Assisting the State Patrol at the scene were Forest Lake Police, Forest Lake Fire, Allina Ambulance, North Ambulance and Life Link Medical. Road conditions were described as dry at the time of the crash.
The crash remains under investigation.
Scandia man dies
A Scandia man was killed on Sunday night, July 6 following injuries sustained in a car crash.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, William H. “Will” St. Sauver, 31, of Scandia, died in a single-car crash in the 12200 block of 228th Street N. at 10:45 p.m. on Sunday. Police reports said the car was on fire when authorities arrived on scene.
The sheriff’s office said the Minnesota State Patrol was first on scene and assisting with first aid and fire suppression. Scandia Fire and Rescue was also called for medical support and scene safety.
The crash remains under investigation.