MINNEAPOLIS – A Minneapolis man accused of striking two U.S. Army recruiters with his sport utility vehicle, then dragging one of them nearly three-quarters of a mile as the man screamed, is facing more serious charges.
Enrico Darius Taylor, 52, is now charged with one count each of first- and second-degree assault in the Sept. 20 incident, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. The new charges are included in a complaint filed Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court.
Taylor initially was charged with criminal vehicular operation.
“I am pleased about (the new charges) because I think this particular case is an outrageous one as it relates to the conduct of the defendant,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said.
Taylor is accused of dragging Travis Torgerson underneath his Jeep after accidentally hitting Torgerson and his colleague Michael Stroud as the two made their way back from lunch to their recruiting office in Roseville.
Stroud was thrown over the vehicle and suffered minor injuries. Torgerson’s foot was stuck in the axle, and he was dragged, the complaint said.
At one point, Taylor stopped his vehicle and tried to remove Torgerson, according to the complaint. When he couldn’t, Taylor got back inside his SUV and kept driving, the complaint said.
When Torgerson finally managed to free himself, Taylor fled to a nearby motel and was apprehended a short time later, the complaint said. When questioned, Taylor, who has a glass eye, told officers he was temporarily blinded when he turned the corner and hit the men.
He said he fled in a panic because his driver’s license was suspended, according to the complaint.
Torgerson, 42, remains hospitalized at Hennepin County Medical Center. He suffered extensive injuries to his legs, buttocks and back, and has undergone numerous skin grafts to replace the skin worn away when he was dragged.
Stroud told the newspaper he was pleased to hear about the additional charges against Taylor.
“I am happy because the people of Roseville will be safer for that period of time when he is not out doing what he does, which is to be a criminal,” Stroud said.
Taylor has a long criminal history dating back to 1993, including convictions for robbery, domestic assault, harassment, check forgery and other charges. He remained in the Ramsey County Jail on Wednesday.
His attorney, Erik Roger Sandvick, did not immediately return a phone message left at the Ramsey County public defender’s office after hours Wednesday.
Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com