Ramsey County prosecutors have charged a St. Paul man after he crashed his pickup truck into a police squad car in the Highland Park neighborhood on Monday. Two St. Paul police officers were injured, one with bruised ribs and the other with a possible perforated eardrum, after the squad's airbag deployed.
Police said a man matching the description of Daniel Sanchez Mendes, 25, fled on foot after he hit a marked police car turning left at the intersection of West 7th and Madison streets.
Court documents say police found seven empty Coors Light beer cans and one bottle of Dos Equis in Mendes' Nissan Titan after the crash. They also found checkbooks and traffic tickets with the name David Medina Sanchez.
A short time later a man reported to police that "an old neighbor," later identified as Mendes, got into his car and said he "thought he had caused the accident." The neighbor said Mendes appeared to be drunk and had jumped out of the car and stumbled away.
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Mendes was later found by police walking with scrapes on his legs and slurring his speech.
He was taken to the hospital where he told police that he ran away because he was in the country illegally and afraid of being deported to Mexico.
Mendes told police he had been drinking at a friend's house before heading home and couldn't recall if he had been drinking while driving. He also told an officer later that he had grown up in Minnesota.
Police submitted samples of his blood to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for analysis.
Mendes was charged with a felony count of driving while intoxicated.