Pistol found following chase of up to 70 mph
A street race during the early morning hours of Aug. 30 in Eagan has resulted in felony charges.
Eagan police officers responded to a scene at 1:02 a.m. when they saw a vehicle drive southbound on Lunar Lane into the intersection of Apollo Road and make a high-speed U-Turn while ignoring a yield sign and incoming traffic.
Officers followed the vehicle onto westbound Lone Oak Road.
The vehicle initially slowed and drove into a parking lot, according to the criminal compliant.
As officers approached the vehicle, the driver quickly accelerated and continued westbound on Lone Oak Road at approximately 70 mph.
The vehicle turned northbound on Lexington Avenue before entering a residential neighborhood, still traveling at speeds of approximately 70 mph.
Officers were able to corner the vehicle in front of a residence.
Melvin Kionte Hamer, 29, of Robbinsdale, exited the vehicle and was placed under arrest. After he was asked to show his waistband by officers to make sure he did not have a weapon, he allegedly said “I ain’t got nothing. I’ll tell you there’s a gun in the glove compartment,” and indicated it belonged to a relative.
During a search officers located an unloaded pistol in the center console and loaded magazine in the glove compartment.
Hamer told officers he was part of the street racing group and fled from officers because his license was revoked and because he had a gun in the vehicle. He said he purchased the pistol from someone earlier in the day and was planning on applying for a permit to carry.
While street racing in Eagan is uncommon, industrial areas of Eagan do attract them “once in a while” Eagan officer Aaron Machtemes said.
“It seemed to be much more popular back in the days when the ‘Fast and Furious’ movies were out,” Machtemes said.
The department has received a few calls complaining about motorcycles racing down Cliff or Diffley Road, and calls about one or two vehicles are “racing” each other this summer, he said.
Eagan police assisted the Mendota Heights police department on a street racing incident in April that resulted in more than 100 citations.
Street racing is often reported by area businesses. Those who see street racers should call 911.
“These events often don’t have a lot of safety measures in place and could easily result in an injury crash or death,” Machtemes said.
Potential charges for street racing include reckless driving, speeding and other traffic-related charges.
Even those who are not racing could be charged with disorderly conduct or public nuisance.
“These gatherings can be very dangerous especially when you mix pedestrians and drivers that are being reckless in order to show off their cars,” Machtemes said.
Hamer was charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, a felony, as well as possession of a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor.
The total maximum penalty for the charges is four years plus one day in prison and an $8,000 fine.