Charges: Woman had been drinking, then stole UND squad car and rolled it in MN


A University of North Dakota squad car found wrecked in Minnesota was stolen by a woman who'd been drinking, according to charges filed Tuesday.

Kassandra Marie Ellis was unconscious and not breathing when officers arrived at the squad car Sunday morning in Crookston, according to the criminal complaint. (You can read the full charges here.)

An officer gave first aid to the 23-year-old on the scene, got her breathing again, and she was taken to the hospital where she was treated for what were ultimately minor injuries, the charges say.

According to the charges, Ellis later told authorities she'd been drinking around 1 a.m., and found the squad car empty and running – though doesn't remember where. (The Grand Forks Herald reported the squad was taken from outside a Grand Forks apartment building, while police responded to a report of an intoxicated woman wandering.)

The complaint says Ellis recalled using the squad car radio at one point while behind the wheel, and admitted to drinking, but denied doing any other drug.

University of North Dakota police posted photos of the smashed up vehicle on Facebook and Twitter Sunday afternoon. According to the complaint, they estimate the value of the vehicle is a little over $46,000.

Ellis, who said she's only been in the Grand Forks area for a couple weeks, is now charged with felony possession of stolen property, as well as fourth-degree driving while impaired, a misdemeanor. Authorities did take a blood sample out the hospital, and are waiting for test results.

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