Weather Forecast


Police report: Man with AK-47 gets proned out and arrested, fiery semi-trailer blocks interstate ramp

On Jan. 13, Woodbury firefighters doused flames on a semi-trailer's locked-up brakes. (Bulletin photo by Mathias Baden)

Note: This is a sample of recent incidents involving the Woodbury police. All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

• A possible structure fire was reported at 10:50 p.m. Dec. 25, in the 2700 block of Edgewater Drive. Woodbury Public Safety arrived on scene to find Christmas lights reflecting off some window blinds, giving the illusion that the interior of the home was on fire. The homeowner confirmed there was no fire.

• As many as a six juveniles vandalized a home at 6:49 p.m. Dec. 26, along Ashford Road. They ran away after throwing ice balls at the front of the residence, leaving the homeowner wondering if the siding and metal garage door had been damaged. The 911 caller's wife told middle schoolers to leave the area after they stole fruit from the homeowner's apple tree in September 2016, and issues have been ongoing since then. Police were unable to locate the juveniles.

• A 25-year-old Apple Valley man was accused of robbing a grade-school friend of $120 at at Kwik Trip. She had offered to pay the man $20 for a ride, then withdrew $120 from an ATM. When she approached the driver's-side window, he grabbed the money and sped off toward Interstate 94. Police were called at 1:25 p.m. Dec. 27, and the Minnesota State Patrol advised, but the license plate information provided didn't match the description of the blue sports-utility vehicle involved in the incident.

• A young male and female appeared to be smoking marijuana in a car at 4:13 p.m. Dec. 27, in the 1500 block of Woodlane Drive. Police responded to find a grinder and a strong smell of marijuana. Nobody returned to the vehicle, and officers left for another emergency.

• At 1:09 a.m. Dec. 28, near the intersection of Upper Afton Road and Century Avenue, a 20-year-old St. Paul man was cited for possessing drug paraphernalia and alcohol in a flower-print backpack. Another occupant in the car received a warning. When the officer explained the citation, the recipient interrupted to say: "Dude, just give me the ticket." A full 750 mL of vodka was poured out, and the grinder was taken as evidence.

• Occupants of a commercial building in the 6000 block of Hudson Road were advised to evacuate upon calling the police about a strong exhaust smell with an unknown source. The 911 call came in at 8:32 a.m. Dec. 28. Fire response was canceled after the complainant called back, having found maintenance working to reduce ice build-ups on the roof.

• Suspicious activity was reported at 2:44 a.m. Dec. 29, along Cornelia Trail. The complainant was sleeping on the couch when he heard clanging in the garage. The motion light was on, but the complainant didn't find anyone there. He said he believed someone was trying to take a container of scrap copper from the garage.

• At 5:10 a.m. Dec. 29, police were called to deal with a complaint about teenage girls in two rooms at the Country Inn & Suites. They were "doing the wrong stuff, drinking and smoking," the complainant said, according to the ICR. The rooms were quiet when police arrived and advised the girls of the complaint. They denied any illegal activities had occurred. One of their mothers, the renter of the rooms, was called.

• A disturbance was reported to police at 8:43 a.m. Dec. 29, near the intersection of Woodlane Drive and Valley Creek Road. The female driver of blue truck, who had a 9-year-old boy with her, was yelling at a man on foot as she followed the man. She said they were at Key Inn, where they engaged in a verbal dispute and the man took her wallet. He said he stayed there alone, and after police searched his person and the area where he had traveled, the woman's property was not located. At the motel, the man was listed as the sole renter of the room, with no occupants. Police noted the woman's unoccupied vehicle in the motel parking lot during the the man's stay.

• An oven fire occurred at 6:25 p.m. Dec. 29, along Woodduck Drive. The 36-year-old resident threw water on it, turned off the oven and called the fire department. Tenants were evacuated, but when firefighters arrived no smoke was showing.

• In an active sex trafficking investigation, law enforcement was involved with planned surveillance at the Washington County Government Center. The officer was tasked with waiting for a subject and victim to arrive. While en route, at 2:27 p.m. Dec. 30, an officer drove through the parking lot at Grand Stay Hotel in Stillwater to see if the subject and victim had stayed the night there, noting its proximity to the government center. He observed a suspicious vehicle — it was spray painted white, missing a front license plate, and sporting an altered license plate on the back. The vehicle identification number was not visible on the dash, and license plates were tucked between the front passenger seat and the door. The officer took video of his observations, told a Stillwater police sergeant, and found out later that the vehicle, an Oldsmobile Bravada, had been parked at the hotel for more than a month.

• At 11:36 p.m. Dec. 31, police were called to a disturbance at Hampton Inn. Guests were bothered by the noise, so they reported lots of yelling and that the situation might be getting physical. The occupants, in town from Texas due to a death in the family, admitted being loud and apologized. A man, his wife and two children were tired and emotional, the adults separately told police. Officers cleared the call.

• A shoplifter swapped out new shoes for her old ones before leading police on a foot chase. At 5:19 p.m. Jan. 1, the 32-year-old St. Paul woman pushed a Kohl's shopping cart to the department store entrance, left it inside, allegedly concealed items in her purse, and fled as police had been called. A 36-year-old Coon Rapids man drove from Kohl's to a restaurant west of the department store and picked up the woman, who threw the shoes into a snowbank and ditched her purse in the restaurant parking lot. They were stopped on Interstate 494 and arrested. She was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor theft. He was cited for driving after revocation and possession of a small amount of marijuana. Both of them were trespassed from Kohl's and transported to the Washington County jail. Kohl's loss prevention employees recovered the shoes.

• Road rage was reported at 5:37 p.m. Jan. 1, at the YMCA. A verbally aggressive male approached a 50-year-old Woodbury woman in the parking lot, swore at her, and used his phone to take pictures of the woman and her vehicle. He then sped off in a small, dark-colored car. The woman couldn't describe the male, and she told police she was unaware of any damage sustained to either vehicle.

• At 8:23 p.m. Jan. 2, grab-and-go theft was reported at Gordmans. A 28-year-old woman was booked and released at the Washington County jail after she was seen "grabbing everything she touches," selecting multiple identical items without checking sizes or prices. She appeared to exit the dressing room without merchandise. The woman admitted to stealing clothes, valued at $128, and received a citation.

• A 25-year-old man called police at 5:01 p.m. Jan. 3, after being punched in the face three times by his father. The 53-year-old man, who allegedly caused his son a bloody nose, was jailed for fifth-degree assault.

• A 54-year-old man was taken into custody at 9:27 p.m. Jan. 3, at Key Inn. He had a warrant out for his arrest due to a felony predatory offender violation, officers knocked on his motel room door, and he was transported to the Ramsey County jail.

• No injuries occurred in a rollover accident near the intersection of Interstate 494 and Tamarack Road at 7:24 a.m. Jan. 5. Minnesota State Patrol handled the incident.

• At 3:12 p.m. Jan. 5, police were called to Woodbury High School to talk with a student who'd been caught with marijuana and Adderall. The 17-year-old boy was apologetic and very remorseful. His father was told about the incident, and the boy was referred to the Youth Service Bureau.

• Woodbury police were called at 8:55 p.m. Jan. 5, to a foot chase along Interstate 94 in Lakeland. A low-speed pursuit began in Wisconsin and ended in Minnesota. Officers provided a perimeter while the driver fled from the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office, eventually located on a rooftop.

• A truck rolled over at 7:13 a.m. Jan. 6, near the intersection of Lake Road and Interstate 494. It appeared to have ended upright, and the State Patrol handled the incident. No injuries were noted in the police's ICR, but property was damaged.

• A 35-year-old Woodbury man nearly ran his vehicle into the exterior of Valley Crossing Elementary School. Police were called at 4:19 p.m. Jan. 7, to 9900 Park Crossing after the man attempted to make a U-turn, lost power steering and was able to brake just feet before hitting the building. Police assisted and the vehicle was towed.

• A 25-year-old Birchwood man was proned out at gunpoint and arrested at 12:54 a.m. Jan. 8, in the 3400 block of Hazel Trail. He was cited for driving after revocation and booked at the Washington County jail for numerous outstanding warrants. Police had been conducting surveillance on a property to which the man arrived in a hurry. As he exited his car, the officer ordered him to show his hands, but the man said he owns an AK-47 pistol that he carries in his car and reached into the car to grab something, according to the ICR.

• Woodbury Public Safety responded to a power pole on fire at 4:18 a.m. Jan. 8, near the intersection of Weir Drive and Tamarack Road. The pole was sparking and flames ignited halfway up the pole. Police provided traffic control as firefighters extinguished the fire.

• At 5:31 p.m. Jan. 8, in the 6700 block of Ashwood Road, police contained the unfriendly cat of a 45-year-old man's ex-girlfriend. Police advised the man to make an appointment with the Animal Humane Society.

• Three mountain bikes, valued at a total of $900, were reported stolen at 10:48 a.m. Jan. 9, from the 10300 block of City Walk Drive — an alleged first-degree burglary. Prior to the new year, the Schwinn Mesa, Trek and Northface bicycles were parked but not secured in a rack on the second floor of an attached garage. The 57-year-old owner noticed them missing Jan. 5. There were no immediate witnesses or suspects.

• Road rage was reported at 6:28 p.m. Jan. 9. A silver sedan kept trying to cut off another car driven by a Woodbury woman on Interstate 94, aggressively braking and not letting the woman merge. Then the car, driven by a bald man, followed the woman to her apartment along City Walk Drive. Police followed up.

• Woodbury Public Safety assisted with a crash at 7:59 p.m. Jan. 9, near the intersection of interstates 94, 494 and 694. Emergency medical services evaluated a patient with injuries and police assisted, as the State Patrol handled the incident.

• So much for one Woodbury man's early Christmas present. A second-degree burglary was reported at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 10, in the 1100 block of Schooner Way. The Toro Power Clear 518 snowblower was only one month old and hadn't yet been used when taken from an attached garage. The garage door had been acting up due to cold weather, the 63-year-old homeowner told police, and must've been opened by hand. The $500 snowblower was entered as a stolen article.

• A Maplewood 20-year-old received a verbal warning for possession of a small amount of marijuana at 12:55 a.m. Jan. 11, near the intersection of Century Avenue and Oakwood Road. She almost hit a squad car, then got pulled over. Drugs, two marijuana pipes, and a grinder were confiscated and destroyed. The woman's mother was advised.

• At 11:05 a.m. Jan. 11, a Tinucci's van hit the fence around Simply Self Storage. Driving in icy weather, the 2008 Ford crossed oncoming lanes of traffic and crashed. The accident caused no injuries, and no state accident report was deemed necessary.

• A gray cat was running around on the third floor of an apartment complex in the 6700 block of Ashwood Road. Police were called at 5:44 p.m. Jan. 11, after the animal allegedly attacked a couple of people. The 60-year-old complainant told police he thought the cat's owner was evicted, moved out and left the cat. The owner of the cat, a 45-year-old man, was cited by Washington County for animal abandonment. It's his 44-year-old ex-girlfriend's cat. Police contained it. The cat was contained by police and taken to the Animal Humane Society for food and clean water. Later the cat owner admitted to leaving the animal outside of the building on Jan. 9. A rescuer took in the cat on Jan. 22.

• At 2:21 p.m. Jan. 12, firefighters were called to the 6800 block of Ashwood Road. Lots of smoke was reported in the building, and alarms sounded. Firefighters found the source to be burnt food in a first-floor apartment.

• Police were called at 8:13 a.m. Jan. 13, to a group home along Meadow Lane. A 26-year-old resident pushed a 43-year-old staff member during an argument about the resident cleaning up her room prior to carpet replacement. The staff member told police she became uncomfortable working at the group home because of the resident's erratic behavior, and police suggested talking to management and coming up with a safety plan or switching group homes.

• A semi-trailer's brakes locked up and caused a fire at 10:01 a.m. Jan. 13, near the intersection of interstates 94 and 494. The back axle was on fire, while the truck was pulled over, blocking a ramp. Woodbury Public Safety doused the fire.

• Police were called at 5:42 p.m. Jan. 13, to Valley Creek Apartments for a report of marijuana odor. The complainant, so allergic to marijuana smoke that it affects her breathing, called a manager who wouldn't come over "because it was too unsafe," police wrote in the ICR. The complainant walked the third-floor hallway with an officer to try to identify the source of the odor, but the smell was elusive. The complainant understood that the officer's options were limited due to a lack of findings, and agreed to follow up with management.

• Suspicious activity was reported at 2:31 a.m. Jan. 14, at Hampton Inn. A 39-year-old bearded man tried to use a credit card in another person's name at La Quinta Inn & Suites. When denied, he called Hampton Inn from the lobby and made the reservation at the other hotel by phone. He checked in at the Hampton Inn with his proper ID and a credit card in his own name. No contact was made with the subject.

• People were yelling at each other, possibly speaking Spanish, at 12:10 a.m. Jan. 15, near the entrance to Anytime Fitness headquarters. They got into a dark-colored SUV, which was gone upon police arrival.

• At 7:01 p.m. Jan. 15, a 38-year-old woman came home to a strange smell in the house. Her 17-year-old son had some friends over. She called police, who checked the residence but didn't find an odor of marijuana.

• An intoxicated 25-year-old woman showed up at 7:56 p.m. Jan. 15, at a 30-year-old man's room at Key Inn and wanted to take their child in common with her and her new boyfriend. Initially, the woman wouldn't leave, so the man called police. She later returned to the room, requesting to take the young girl home in a cab. The mother was told that was not going to be the plan, and to leave the hotel or be taken to a detoxification center. She left.

• At 11:31 p.m. Jan. 15, near the intersection of Century Avenue and Ridge Road, a 26-year-old Maplewood woman was on her way to the Ramsey County workhouse to sit in the parking lot and wave to her boyfriend, who she has an active harassment restraining order against. An officer initiated a traffic stop for expired tabs, and she was cited for possession of hypodermic needles, drug paraphernalia and marijuana. She also had a revoked driver's license, was on probation and had an active warrant.

• Suspicious activity was reported at 1:52 p.m. Jan. 16, at Wells Fargo Bank. A patron was stuck behind a 46-year-old Woodbury woman using a whole stack of credit cards at the ATM, obtaining cash on some transactions. Shortly thereafter, the vehicle was observed entering the Wal-Mart area.

• Woodbury firefighters were called at 4:20 p.m. Jan. 16, for an oven fire at a residence along Grand Oaks Trail. Flames licked out of the oven. It was a possible grease fire. Police assisted.

• At 9:49 p.m. Jan. 16, police were called to an unknown situation at Residence Inn. A window broke, and the 911 caller heard it and wondered if it was broken by a gunshot. Police said it was likely broken by a pebble or rock from a vehicle in the parking lot.

• Suspicious activity was reported at 3 p.m. Jan. 17, at Key Inn. An anonymous complainant told police that after staying at the motel the previous night, he drove to Minneapolis and St. Paul, where he began fishtailing in his car. The lugnuts had been removed from the vehicle's tires. Police, though, said the incident mostly likely happened in the other cities, because the car probably wouldn't have made it to both cities with no lugnuts. The complainant said he didn't know where it happened. He added that drug dealers were following him and asked if he should be in the witness protection program. The officer responded he should do what he feels best in that regard. He was deemed to not be a danger to himself.

• At 12:11 a.m. Jan. 18, a disturbance occurred along Cypress Drive. A 25-year-old Woodbury woman was yelling at a 26-year-old Rochester, Minn., man who was trying to restrain her. After a verbal domestic situation, the woman wanted to "get some space," she said. The man was visibly intoxicated, and he went to a family member's house for the evening. No crime occurred.

• A toddler was reportedly locked in a car while it was running at 9:23 a.m. Jan. 18, at Valley Crossing Elementary School. Police responded for a welfare check, but the subject vehicle was gone upon officer arrival.

• The State Patrol handled a three- or four-vehicle accident at 5:58 p.m. Jan. 18, on an on-ramp at the intersection of Woodbury Drive and Interstate 94.

• An alleged first-degree burglary was reported at 5:38 a.m. Jan. 19, along Sterling Alcove. Credit cards, personal items, cash, identification, wallet and compound bows were taken after the overhead garage door had been left open overnight. Someone had gone through vehicles and spilled the contents of a purse in the driveway, then used credit cards at Cub Foods in the Phalen neighborhood of St. Paul and at an Oakdale SuperAmerica.

• Woodbury police provided traffic control at 8:32 a.m. Jan. 19, near the intersection of Bailey Road and Manning Avenue, where an accident caused unknown injuries. The State Patrol, Washington County Sheriff's Office and Cottage Grove police were on scene, as well.

• Police were alerted when a 39-year-old Woodbury man, at 10:40 a.m. Jan. 19, went to Wells Fargo to open a checking account. He had started a new job and a bank employee felt that his request was fraud related. The man was identified by passport and driver's license, both from Mexico. Police investigation showed he was at no point trying to hide, alter or portray himself as anyone other than himself. He needed the checking account in order to receive work wages he earned. He admitted to having a fake Maryland ID, for that purpose. Police confiscated and destroyed the ID, and warned the man against having a fake ID. No charges are pending. The man was appreciative, stating he just want to work and make a living.

• At 11:50 a.m. Jan. 19, at Extended Stay, a 31-year-old Inver Grove Heights man and 30-year-old Newport woman were arrested for fifth-degree controlled substance. They had active warrants out of Ramsey County and were transported to the Washington County jail.

• A possible burglary was reported at 4:35 p.m. Jan. 20, in the 3800 block of Smithfield Curve, but officers found no signs of anything suspicious. Nothing had been taken or tampered with.

• A girl turned in a 15-year-old boy for possibly cheating on a test at Woodbury High School, to which the boy began saying disparaging remarks on social media. The girl's parents became concerned about the boy's threats to "beat" whoever "told on me," and they called police at 7:56 p.m. Jan. 20, and decided to seek counseling for the girl. Police advised the boy he had five days to write three letters of apology — to the teacher, victim and victim's parents — to be turned in to the school resource officer and properly distributed. The incident was classified by police as malicious mischief.

• Woodbury Public Safety is investigating the cause of a fire at 11:43 a.m. Jan. 21, in the 1000 block of Pelto Path. Very thin smoke and flames were seen coming out of the residence, while the homeowners were reportedly out of town. Firefighters found a fire in the basement. No one was home.

• An accident causing injuries occurred at 3:14 p.m. Jan. 22, near Wal-Mart. A 23-year-old Inver Grove Heights woman reported head pain but declined ambulance transportation, after a 48-year-old Maplewood man's 2003 Saturn Vue collided with her 2013 Hyundai in the store parking lot. They finger pointed at each other and exchanged insurance information. There were no witnesses.

• An accident caused injuries at 11:04 a.m. Jan. 23, near the intersection of Radio Drive and Valley Creek Road. A 56-year-old Maplewood woman experienced minor head and neck pain but declined medical attention after her 2012 Toyota CBS was rear-ended by a 64-year-old Woodbury man's 2005 Ford Ranger after a stoplight turned green and a third car's brakes were applied in front of the Toyota. The vehicles sustained minor damage but didn't need to be towed. A state crash report was completed. No citation were issued.