Christopher Donald Nelson, a 43-year-old man from Delano, was charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, first-degree criminal damage to property, criminal vehicular operation (bodily harm) and child endangerment in Scott County District Court after he allegedly hit a vehicle PIT maneuver-style with his 3-year-old daughter in the car.

According to the criminal complaint:

On May 9 at 3:32 p.m., Shakopee police responded to a report of a crash with injuries at the roundabout on Shenandoah and Vierling Drives. Upon arrival, officers found a black sedan with heavy rear end damage and multiple airbags deployed.

The driver of the vehicle, who was crying and unable to tell officers much about the incident, said another vehicle had rammed into hers multiple times. The victim was bleeding from her hands as a result of the crash.

The passenger of the vehicle told officers a suspect vehicle had followed them and rammed into the car several times.

Witnesses traveling behind the sedan told officers an SUV that appeared to be chasing the sedan tried to run the car off the roadway just before the roundabout. Video surveillance showed the SUV speeding down Vierling Drive in pursuit of the sedan, and then struck the car similarly to a pursuit intervention technique, or PIT, causing the sedan to spin out and jump the median. The SUV then exited the roundabout and drove toward the sedan again, striking the car a second time and nearly running over the passenger of the sedan, who had exited the vehicle.

Both victims were treated for lacerations by paramedics at the scene, but neither were transported to the hospital, the complaint said. 

A short time later, Nelson — the driver of the SUV — called 911 from the parking lot of the AmericInn in Shakopee. A woman and their 3-year-old daughter were also in the vehicle.

Nelson told police he and his family were at Speedway gas station in Shakopee when the passenger of the victim's car pulled on his daughter's arm in the parking lot. He told officers the victims then got into their vehicles and left the scene, but Nelson’s phone was on top of their vehicle when they drove away. Nelson told officers he then proceeded to pursue the sedan.

Nelson was arrested and transported to the St. Francis Regional Medical Center for evaluation by medical staff.

The maximum sentence for Nelson’s most severe charge is seven years in prison and/or a $14,000 fine.

Maddie DeBilzan graduated with a journalism degree from Bethel University. She’s interned at Salon Media and the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Outside of work, she sifts through Goodwill clothing racks, listens to Ben Rector's music and goes on long runs.