By Dan Nienaber
---- — MANKATO — A former Mankato police officer is facing several charges for allegedly driving while intoxicated and attempting to run from the officer who had stopped him while he was driving on a residential Mankato street in November.
Daniel Padilla, 52, resigned Dec. 18 after working as a Mankato police officer for just over 20 years.
When Padilla was arrested Nov. 25, he allegedly had a blood-alcohol concentration of about .22, well over twice the legal limit of .08 for driving, and refused to cooperate with Jase Guetter, the officer who stopped him and took away his keys. Guetter reported Padilla refused to stay seated in the Jeep Cherokee he was driving, attempted take his keys back from Guetter and attempted to run away twice.
It was about 4:18 a.m. when Guetter said he saw Padilla's red Jeep nearly hit two vehicles while driving on Glenwood Avenue. He reported he started following the Jeep and watched as it failed to stop for a stop sign when it turned onto Warren Avenue and continued to weave in its lane as it traveled on Lincoln Street. Guetter reported he immediately recognized Padilla after he stopped him for driving erratically.
Guetter reported he muted his body microphone and used his cellphone to call his supervisor, Sgt. Chris Baukol, to assist because he wasn't comfortable dealing with the situation alone due to the personal and professional relationship he had with Padilla. It was while they were waiting for Baukol to get to the intersection of Lincoln and Grove streets that Padilla allegedly became angry with Guetter, attempted to take the keys and escape, according to the criminal complaint filed Thursday in Blue Earth County District Court.
Guetter reported he was able to grab Padilla quickly after he ran the first time, but Padilla fell into a vehicle parked on Lincoln Street and had to be calmed down. After getting Padilla back to the Jeep, Padilla became more angry and ran away down an alley, the complaint said. This time Padilla fell to the ground when he was caught and Guetter made him sit there until Baukol arrived.
Baukol reported he heard Guetter telling Padilla to "stay there" when he arrived at the scene. Both officers reported smelling a strong odor of alcohol. Baukol also reported he attempted to get a state trooper, a deputy from Blue Earth County or a North Mankato police officer to take over the incident to avoid a conflict of interest, but he was told no one was available.
Padilla allegedly refused to perform any field sobriety tests and declined to submit to a preliminary breath test. He was taken to the North Mankato Police Department to be processed for driving while intoxicated and was given the opportunity to contact an attorney. Padilla was later taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato where a blood sample was taken.
The results from the test were returned Dec. 13 and showed Padilla had a .20 BAC when the blood was drawn. Since the blood had been drawn later than two hours after Padilla's arrest, St. Peter City Attorney James Brandt also asked a Bureau of Criminal Apprehension expert to provide an estimate of what Padilla's blood concentration was within that two-hour time frame. The BCA scientist estimated Padilla's BAC was between .22 and .23, the complaint said.
Last week Brandt said he had completed the paperwork for the charges, but he had to have the complaint signed by Baukol before it could be filed. The criminal complaint was signed by Brandt on Jan. 9.
The charges against Padilla include two gross misdemeanor counts of third-degree driving while intoxicated with an aggravating factor, two misdemeanor counts of driving while intoxicated and one misdemeanor count each of fleeing an officer on foot and obstructing the legal process.
Padilla has declined requests to comment about the situation or charges. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance Feb. 20.