Eric C. Roberts gasses up, refuses to pay, dies in wreck

Roberts paid a big price for a gas drive-off
Roberts paid a big price for a gas drive-off
Photo: adobemac

So Eric C. Roberts, a 24-year-old guy from Waconia, pulls into a Cenex gas station in the Sibley County town of Arlington on Sunday. He pumps some fuel into his 1997 Ford Taurus. Then he splits without paying.

Roberts is dead now. An Arlington cop in an unmarked squad car tried to stop the guy, and after a 12-mile chase out on County Road 8 in Le Sueur, the cop's car bumped into the Taurus. The Taurus rolled. Roberts was ejected -- he wasn't wearing seat belt, according to the State Patrol. A rescue helicopter was sent to the scene, but Roberts had died.

The Arlington cop, officer Scott Bennet, wasn't hurt in the chase, the State Patrol said. Arlington Police Chief Bruce Rovinsky told KEYC-TV that Bennet "is shook up over it. As anyone would be. Right now he is on Administrative leave, which is standard procedure for an incidence like this."

Spokesman Sgt. Eric Roeske told the Pioneer Press he had no idea why Roberts didn't just stop when Bennett picked up his tail.

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