Powell faces five charges for chase, striking kids in park


The Richfield man who struck three children in the park with his vehicle, now faces five criminal charges, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Wednesday.

Kabaar Powell, 27, was charged with felony fleeing police in a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily harm and fleeing police in a motor vehicle resulting in substantial bodily harm. Powell also was charged with three gross misdemeanors. Two of them were criminal vehicular operation with bodily harm and a single count of possession of a pistol without a permit in a public place.

He is expected to make his first court appearance Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint, Minnesota State Patrol officers were patrolling Interstate 94 about 9:40 a.m. Monday when they saw a vehicle, near 46th Avenue North, going faster than the 60 miles per hour speed limit. They knew that Powell had a revoked driver’s license.

They tried pulling over Powell’s sports utility vehicle but he sped away. Troopers chased him and the pursuit lasted about six minutes, primarily through residential streets with speeds as high as 80 miles per hour. Powell also did not stop for at least 22 stop signs, the complaint states. During the chase, they also realized troopers had pursued the SUV on Friday but failed to catch it.

Eventually, Powell turned into Bohanon Park near 50th and Dupont Avenues North and drove on the grass before driving onto a basketball court. There, a 30-year-old man was playing with his four children, according to the complaint. Two of them, a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl, were struck by Powell’s SUV.  Squad car video showed the father trying to gather up his children to flee the basketball court, but had only four seconds to do it.

Powell then smashed into playground equipment. The complaint states that Powell jumped out of the vehicle and ran, but the troopers were able to catch him. In a search of the car, troopers found a 9 mm handgun and ammunition. Powell does not have a permit to carry a firearm.

The two-year-old boy suffered severe injuries. He had to have his spleen removed. He suffered a pelvic fracture, a cervical spine fracture, intracranial bleeding and he lost a great deal of blood, according to the complaint. His sister suffered bleeding between the brain and the tissue covering the brain as well as cuts and bruises on her upper body.

Two of the troopers in the pursuit suffered minor head injuries.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)