Two Wisconsin men were charged with multiple crimes in Faribault County District Court on Monday stemming from a traffic stop that left a Minnesota State Patrol trooper injured last week.
On Thursday, Dec. 20, State Trooper Doug Rauenhorst made a routine traffic stop of a Jeep Cherokee along Interstate 90 in Southern Minnesota. He became suspicious that the two occupants of the vehicle, identified as Montrell Smith, 29, and Anthony Hector Enriquez, 28, both of Milwaukee, were transporting illegal drugs.
Another trooper arrived to the scene to assist and the two approached the suspect vehicle, with Rauenhorst going to the driver's side of the Cherokee and the other trooper taking the passenger side.
As the trooper on the passenger side opened the door, the driver, Smith, accelerated. Rauenhorst was partially inside the vehicle at the time and wound up being pulled alongside the vehicle as it rapidly increased speed.
The complaint says Rauenhorst ordered Smith to stop and attempted to shift the Jeep into park, but Enriquez shifted it back into drive and assaulted Rauenhorst who then fell out of the Jeep onto the interstate.
He suffered injuries in the fall that required him being transported to United Hospital District in Blue Earth. He was treated and released the next morning.
Meanwhile, troopers engaged in pursuit of the suspects as they fled into Freeborn County. The chase was called off, and later on their Jeep Cherokee was found abandoned behind a furniture store in Albert Lea. The two suspects were found inside a local tavern and arrested without incident.
Smith and Enriquez have been charged with fleeing a peace officer, third-degree assault and fifth-degree drug possession.