Police pull over man suspected of drunken driving – in CAT loader



You don't have to be in a car to get busted for drunken driving, as a Twin Cities man police say was behind the wheel of a CAT loader found out last Friday.

The Edina Police Department tweeted about the DWI arrest on Monday morning, saying the suspect was plowing snow with a front-end loader – while a 5-year-old was sitting on his lap

The department also described the suspect as a "repeat violator."

Edina Police Department spokeswoman Kaylin Eidsness told BringMeTheNews that a customer at Bobby and Steve's Auto World in Bloomington noticed the suspect – Robert James Stertz – inside the store "acting intoxicated," and watched as he left the store to make sure he didn't get into a car and drive away shortly after 11 p.m.

Instead, the witness reported seeing Stertz climb into the front-end loader with the child on his lap, police said. He then called 911.

The incident happened outside the World Market in Bloomington, though Edina police handled the call as they were right nearby over the city line when it happened and were able to respond, Eidsness says.

Stertz was charged in Hennepin County with two counts of DWI – you can read the criminal complaint here. It says Stertz registered a blood alcohol content of 0.101 while on the scene, and about an hour later recorded a 0.08.

Eidsness tells BringMeTheNews (and the criminal complaint also notes) this is his fourth such offense in 10 years.

DWI laws

Minnesota law says it is a crime to "drive, operate, or be in control of any motor vehicle anywhere in the state" while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. What constitutes a "vehicle" pretty much runs the gamut in the eyes of the state, which includes school buses, Head Start buses, airplanes, snowmobiles, ATVs, other off-road vehicles, and motorboats in its list.

Since the driver in the snow-plowing incident is accused of having a child in the CAT loader when he was pulled over, he's looking at some stiffer penalties than what he would have been facing had he been busted alone or with other adults in the vehicle.

According to the state, the presence of a child under the age of 16 is an "aggravating factor" which can result in a driver's license being revoked for longer periods of time, and other penalties.

KSTP says the 5-year-old was later picked up by his father.

Next Up


Golf spots still available for the Rod Simons Memorial Golf for the Gift of Adoption

The annual golf tournament is THIS TUESDAY at Troy Burne in Hudson, Wisconsin.

police tape, crime scene

Police investigating Saturday homicide in Austin

Officers responded to a report of a woman shot in a house in Austin just before 2 a.m. Saturday.

fire, firefighter

2 dead in Wadena County house fire, boy survives

The fire was reported around 3:50 a.m. Sunday.

Jose Berrios

Berríos dominates in first start with Blue Jays

The former Twin made a great first impression with his new team.

Lauri Markkanen

Report: Timberwolves interested in sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen

The Wolves will look to upgrade at power forward in free agency.

Suni Lee

Suni Lee, Regan Smith take home Olympic medals Sunday

Lee won bronze in the uneven bars final, while Smith won silver in the 4x100-meter medley relay.

Screen Shot 2021-08-01 at 9.16.26 AM

'Zero respect for authority': Olmsted Co. Fair wracked by wave of juvenile disturbances

Fair officials imposed strict new rules to deal with the problem.

ambulance, crash

Baby dies, 5 injured when SUV flips over fence onto I-94 in Brooklyn Center

Alcohol was detected on the driver, according to the State Patrol.

minneapolis police

Police say officers were shot at in north Minneapolis

Officers were checking into a suspicious activity report when gunfire erupted.


Walmart to mandate COVID vaccine for some managers, corporate employees

The company will also reinstate mask mandates for employees in high-transmission areas.

Minneapolis police

Driver plows into crowd after downtown Minneapolis brawl

Two suspects have reportedly been identified.