Man who crashed into children in park pleads guilty

Thursday,

Updated Aug. 16, 2018:

Mr. Powell was sentenced today. Kyle and Nicolle Peltier gave impact statements about how their family has been impacted since Powell ran over three of their children at a park. “53 days that I couldn’t hold my son, hug him or kiss him because he was in a contraption to protect his head… It’s not fair," said Nicolle. "Mr. Powell didn’t just injure our entire family of feeling safe in places that should be safe…but altered our lives forever.” Judge William H. Koch did hand down the expected sentence of 21 months in prison for the first count and a year and a day for the second count, to be served consecutively.

Kabaar Powell Jr., who led police on a high speed chase and crashed into two children in a park, pleaded guilty to the top counts against him, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced on July 12..

“Mr. Powell’s reckless actions seriously injured one child, hurt another and had the potential to cause even greater damage since there were other children playing at the park with their dad,” said Freeman. “This didn’t have to happen, but we are pleased that Mr. Powell pleaded guilty and agreed to the aggravating factors in this case, which will allow for a more severe sentence than called for by the Minnesota sentencing guidelines.”

Powell, 27, pleaded guilty to one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily harm and a second count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in substantial bodily harm. He is expected to be sentenced to 21 months in prison for the first count and 12 months for the second count, to be served consecutively. As part of the plea agreement, Powell agreed there were factors which allow for a more severe sentence.

According to the criminal complaint, on the morning of June 11, Minnesota State Troopers saw a car going faster than the 60 mph speed limit on I94 and 46th Avenue in Minneapolis. When they tried to stop the driver, later identified as Powell, a high-speed chase ensued, lasting approximately six minutes and reaching speeds above 80 mph. Powell ran at least 22 stop signs as he sped through a residential neighborhood. He turned into Bohannon Park, near the 5000 block of Dupont Ave. N., and drove onto a basketball court where the two young victims, two and four years old, were playing basketball with their dad and other siblings. Powell struck the two children and then crashed into a piece of playground equipment. He got out of the car and fled on foot. He was apprehended by police a short time later.