Publish date:

Intoxicated mayor arrested in driver's seat of bus outside elementary school in central Minnesota

The Mayor of Rice, Minnesota was in a bus outside an elementary school.

The Mayor of the City of Rice in central Minnesota was arrested for DWI while sitting in a school bus outside an elementary school on Thursday. 

According to the Benton County Sheriff's Office, newly elected Mayor Erik Richard Bonde, 46, of Rice, was arrested after police and deputies discovered alcohol in his possession as he sat in the driver's seat of a van-sized school bus outside Rice Elementary School. 

He was arrested at 3:05 p.m., just 25 minutes before school got out. 

It's not yet clear if Bonde had driven kids to school Thursday morning nor is it clear if he was preparing to transport children home prior to his arrest. Bring Me The News has reached out to the transportation company he worked with and has not yet heard back. 

The sheriff's office reports that Bonde was contacted by a police officer around 1:30 p.m. informing him that he couldn't drive because he has a suspended driver's license. Ninety minutes later police learned that Bonde was in the bus outside the school, and upon making contact with him police saw signs of intoxication. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

A blood test revealed that Bonde had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit so he was arrested and booked into the Benton County Jail. He was issued a citation for misdemeanor DUI and possessing an open bottle. 

Bonde was released from jail once here sobered up. 

Sauk Rapids-Rice Public Schools Superintendent Aaron Sinclair told Bring Me The News that "student safety is always of the utmost importance" and the district "appreciates the work of local law enforcement as they work to ensure our students, staff, and community members are safe."

Next Up

Mike Zimmer

‘Fire Zimmer’ trending after Vikings beat Panthers

The Vikings won the game but their coach is still on the hot seat.

Screen Shot 2021-10-17 at 8.24.33 PM

NCHC condemns Huskies fans for throwing projectiles after controversial no-call

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference says that it will be reviewing both the no-call and the aftermath.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.


Sex offender arrested after riding bus with elementary students

The man boarded a school bus at the Walker Art Center.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 8.54.44 AM

Basketball team escapes before school bus burns on I-494

The bus from Richfield Middle School was inspected in December.

Bus driver charged; no memorial service for victim because of coronavirus

The school bus driver has been charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

Bicyclist fatally struck by school bus in Brooklyn Park

The fatal accident happened just before 6:30 a.m.

Bicyclist killed in school bus crash identified as Plymouth man

The 31-year-old was hit by a school bus early Wednesday morning.

broken window, abandoned building

Sheriff: Trend of teens breaking into buildings, sharing photos online

An incident over the weekend spurred the sheriff to issue a release.