A Hopkins man whose blood alcohol level is thought to have been more than three times the legal limit is accused of nearly running over a man and his children and then fighting officers who arrested him, according to charges filed Tuesday.
Steven Donald Oestreich, 55, came to officers’ attention at 5:07 p.m. Sunday when a employee reported that a drunken man had driven away from the bar, according to charging documents written by Hopkins Detective Renee Meuwissen.
The employee said he’d tried to take the man’s car keys but the man “took a swing” at him and drove away in a Dodge pickup. A credit card receipt indicated that the man was Oestreich.
Police Sgt. Michael Glassberg later spoke with a man who said a Dodge pickup nearly hit him and his children as they crossed the street by the city parking lot just north of Hopkins Tavern on Main. Police dispatch then received a 911 call from a man who said a Dodge pickup swerved at him while on First Street North.
Officers went to Oestreich’s home and found a pickup whose license plates and description matched those from the near misses, according to the court documents. The complaint notes that the tires were still wet, indicating the truck had been driven recently.
When officers knocked on the man’s door, his adult son said the he was “passed out on the floor.” He smelled of alcohol. His words were slurred. And he appeared to have urinated on himself.
A preliminary breath test recorded a blood alcohol level of .309, more than three times the legal limit of .08.
When police tried to arrest him, the man said he wasn’t going to jail, kicked at officers and “approached Officer (Ian) Flam aggressively,” according to the court documents. Another officer warned Oestreich that he’d be Tased if he didn’t comply, and officers took him to the ground and handcuffed him when he continued walking toward Flam.
As they walked him toward the squad car, he wedged his body against the frame of the house, charging documents state. When they tried to put him inside the car, he kicked at officers and threatened to kill them.
At the station, Flam read Oestreich a notice stating that Minnesota law presumes that anyone who drives a vehicle consents to alcohol tests and asked if Oestreich understood—to which he reportedly responded with an obscenity.
He later relented and agreed to take a urine test. But when officers removed a leg restraint, he “became agitated and began yelling at officers and frothing at the mouth,” according to the documents.
"Is there anything I can say or do to get you to cooperate?" Sgt. Glassberg asked.
Oestreich asked for a glass of water but refused to drink it. When Glassberg gave him one last chance to take the test, Oestreich ignored him and continued to yell.
He has been charged with:
- Refusal to submit to a chemical test, a gross misdemeanor that carries a sentence of as much as one year in jail and a $3,000 fine;
- Obstructing the legal process with force, a gross misdemeanor that carries a sentence of as much as one year in jail and a $3,000 fine and
- Fourth degree driving while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of as much as 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.