Skip to main content

Driver pleads guilty to crashing into downtown St. Paul bar, injuring 5

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A man who crashed his minivan into a downtown St. Paul bar and restaurant in May, injuring five people inside, pleaded guilty Monday to three felony charges as part of a plea agreement, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Matthew Michael Damman, 32, of Little Canada, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to one count of fleeing a peace officer in a vehicle and two counts of criminal vehicular operation under the influence of a controlled substance.

In court Monday, Damman testified that he was under the influence of cocaine, alcohol and marijuana when he crashed his car into the Bulldog Restaurant at 6th and Wacouta Streets in downtown St. Paul early on the morning of May 2, according to the Pioneer Press.

Damman's vehicle was being pursued by the State Patrol when the accident occurred.

The chase began when police got a 911 call about a minivan that was driving erratically on Highway 61 near Interstate 494 in Newport. The caller said the vehicle was weaving in and out of traffic.

Authorities followed the vehicle onto Interstate 94 and troopers attempted to pull the van over near the 6th Street exit. Damman did not stop, took the exit ramp and drove another block before crashing into the restaurant.

The impact of the crash was strong enough to deploy the airbags in Damman's vehicle. Five people inside the bar were injured by flying glass.

Damman's attorney Paul Rogosheske said in court Monday that Damman had a diabetic reaction that contributed to the crash, according to the Pioneer Press.

Damman was originally charged with five felonies and seven gross misdemeanors. The plea agreement calls for a minimum sentence of 180 days in jail, according to the Star Tribune. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26.

The Star Tribune notes that Damman declined to comment after the hearing, but Rogosheske said his client was "just sorry that it happened."

Court records show Damman has committed at least 10 traffic violations in Minnesota since 2001, with two drunken-driving convictions among them.

Three years ago, he was a passenger in a vehicle that ran over a group of University of Minnesota students in Dinkytown, killing one person and injuring two others. The driver in that incident, Timothy Bakdash, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-12-09 at 9.45.35 AM

Boys aged 12 and 14 arrested after fleeing police in stolen car

The two boys were charged with felony fleeing in a motor vehicle and receiving stolen property.

JackknifedSemiI35

Heavy snow brings multiple crashes to southern Minnesota roads

The snowfall is expected to end sometime Friday morning.

Cheetah Pizza

Edina pizza joint quietly closes after 38 years

The restaurant was located at 5125 Edina Industrial Blvd.

internet

Internet providers to get $100M to expand coverage across Minnesota

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the largest single investment in broadband infrastructure in the state's history.

Forest Lake High School

Charges: Man left knife tucked in bathroom stall inside high school

The 42-year-old entered the bathroom Tuesday morning and left 15 minutes later.

318932855_566492482149686_9036958628999185261_n

Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.

318945683_10161683635994714_4236667683357316937_n

22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.

COVER

Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.

Related