Anoka man charged for endangering woman by steering vehicle off road

Just after 8 p.m. Feb. 19, a vehicle traveling east on Highway 10 near Highway 65 in Blaine suddenly jerked to the right, flipped twice and landed on its roof.

The 20-year-old female driver told authorities that she blacked out and woke up to find herself hanging upside down, with her seat belt holding her up.

An investigation by the Blaine Police Department led to charges being filed in Anoka County District Court against Jesse Lainez-Lanza, 21, 2626 Ninth St., Anoka.

Lainez-Lanza was arraigned Feb. 22 on two criminal vehicular operation charges with one being a felony and the other a gross misdemeanor. He was also faces a misdemeanor domestic assault charge.

According to the complaint, the female driver told a Blaine Police detective that she and Lainez-Lanza broke up in July 2012 and she filed for a restraining order.

She told police that they recently began talking again and were trying to work on their relationship. They were on their way to play basketball in Mounds View the evening of Feb. 19 when she alleged they got into an argument while she was driving east on Highway 10 with Lainez-Lanza in the passenger seat.

According to the account she gave police that was detailed in the complaint, Lainez-Lanza became angry when she said she was going to be hanging out with a friend. He allegedly punched the dashboard of the vehicle and made gestures as if he was going to hit her.

She told him she did not want to play basketball anymore and was going to find a place to turn around, but he allegedly threw her cell phone out of the window and continued to hit the dashboard and made flinching motions like he was going to hit her.

He then allegedly grabbed the steering wheel and turned it sharply to the right while they were traveling at about 70 mph and the vehicle went off the road.

A witness told police that he was traveling to the left of the vehicle when he saw it jerk right and flip twice in the air once it went off the road before landing on its roof, according to the complaint.

Authorities arrived at the scene to find Lainez-Lanza and the female in two separate vehicles. The Blaine Police detective who later interviewed the woman saw that she had cuts on her forehead and chin and bruising on her chin and near her left eye.

The condition of Lainez-Lanza or whether he gave any statement to police was not detailed in the complaint that was in the court file.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]

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