Drunken man allegedly kicks out squad car window
A Cottage Grove man was charged with property damage, among other crimes, for allegedly kicking out a back window from a St. Paul Park squad car following alleged drunken attempts to fight people outside a St. Paul Park bar.
Dereck S. Zwakman, 33, was charged in Washington County District Court with fifth-degree drug possession, obstructing the legal process and damage to property in connection with a March 19 incident.
According to the court complaint, police responded to the St. Paul Park American Legion around 8:15 p.m. that night on a report of an intoxicated man behind the building who was trying to fight people, the complaint says.
Police observed Zwakman swinging his arms and challenging others to fight, and he later challenged one of the officers to fight, according to the complaint. He had a hard time standing and walking, was speaking incoherently, and a preliminary breath test said he had a blood alcohol concentration of .28, the complaint says. Police allegedly found pills in his pocket that were later identified as acetaminophen/hydrocodone, the complaint says.
Zwakman refused to get into the squad car, according to the complaint. Police used a Taser on him, and he then got in the car, according to the complaint. En route to the Washington County Jail, Zwakman laid down on the back seat and started kicking at the passenger side door and window, breaking out the window, the complaint says. He got both feet outside the window, hooked them over the window frame and was shuffling himself toward the door, according to the complaint. The officer called in backup, and while waiting for them to arrive, Zwakman alternated between crying, begging for help and threatening to kill the officer, the complaint says. He was transported to Regions Hospital for medical evaluation. The cost to repair the damaged window was $800, the complaint says.
Zwakman's attorney said they are still investigating the incident, and he had no comment on the charges at this time.
Zwakman faces one charge of fifth-degree drug possession, with a maximum sentence of five years in prison and $10,000 in fines, one count of obstructing the legal process, with a maximum sentence of one year in prison and $3,000 in fines and one charge of third-degree damage to property, with a maximum of one year in prison and $3,000 in fines.
Zwakman's next court appearance, an omnibus hearing, is scheduled at 9 a.m. Aug. 4.