Matthew Damman allegedly led police on a brief drunken chase through downtown St. Paul before crashing his 2001 Chrysler Town and Country minivan into the Lowertown Bulldog, injuring six.
State Patrol spokesman Eric Roeske says someone reported a possible intoxicated driver heading northbound on Highway 61 south of Interstate 94 just before midnight last night. Officers caught up with the alleged drunk driver, later identified as Damman, as he exited Interstate 94 at Sixth Street.
MADD calls upon Minnesota to legalize sobriety checkpoints
The trooper attempted to stop Damman, but he took off. A couple blocks later, he smashed into the Bulldog.
None of the resulting injuries were life-threatening, Roeske says.
Damman, a 31-year-old St. Paul resident, was taken to the hospital himself. He was treated and transferred to Ramsey County Jail. Roeske says he's being held on suspicion of felony fleeing an officer, felony criminal vehicular operation, and gross misdemeanor second-degree DWI.
A Ramsey County courts spokesperson tells us Damman hasn't yet been charged as of 10:45 a.m.
Roeske says authorities won't have information about Damman's blood alcohol level until the results of a blood draw come back.
Reached for comment this morning, a Bulldog employee said the bar and restaurant is open for lunch today, but confirmed the building suffered damage.
The employee had a hard time hearing our follow-up question about the extent of the damage over the din of the late Friday-morning lunch crowd.
"Swing by!" he said.
To see dramatic images of the crash and its aftermath, click to page two.
For more photos, click to page three.
Several people hurt last night after a van crashes into The Bulldog bar in Lowertown St. Paul. pic.twitter.com/Zpe7ZdbEfo-- E Linares (@WCCOEL) May 2, 2014
Bulldog lowertown pic.twitter.com/F75G4Eb9YI-- Timbo Leary (@timlearytweets) May 2, 2014
@atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]
Photoset: A minivan crashes into The Bulldog Lowertown in St Paul after a short pursuit by State Patrol. ... http://t.co/7uCqRqpGHi-- Greg Kellogg (@Overnights_at_9) May 2, 2014