Robbinsdale City Council Member Charged with Fleeing Police While Drunk
A Robbinsdale City Council member is accused of fleeing police while under the influence of alcohol. Tyler Kline, 38, is charged with one count fleeing a peace officer, one count of driving while under the influence and another count of driving while under the influence with blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
The incident occurred on Highway 100 on Jan. 24 shortly after midnight.
“I know he’s a great guy and I’m shocked that he would be accused of something like this and I felt sad for our city and I felt sad for his family and I know that we have to keep our community safe, so I have conflicted feelings,” said Mayor Bill Blonigan.
Blonigan says what happens next for Kline as a council member is up to Kline.
“If he wants to change the status of his election as a council member, that’s totally up to him and it’s totally between him and the voters, just like I’ve always maintained for any public official,” said Blonigan. “I believe in redemption and you do have to pay the price for whatever you do according to the law. I know that we’re talking about probable cause and nothing has been proved yet.”
According to the criminal complaint:
Police were alerted to an accident that police say was caused by Kline. The complaint said Kline fled the scene and was driving the wrong way near Highway 100 at Brooklyn Boulevard.
A Crystal police officer initially noticed Kline, who was driving a minivan, traveling the wrong way as he entered Highway 100 in the northbound exit lane to France Avenue. The officer activated his emergency lights and attempted to block the minivan from entering the highway. The complaint said that Kline then proceeded to drive around the patrol car and flee from the officer.
Tyler Kline continued to travel southbound in the northbound lanes of traffic. Another Crystal police officer then tried to stop Kline using a trained maneuver on the minivan as it left Highway 100 at County Road 81 still heading in the wrong direction. The officer then tried a second maneuver. Kline was eventually stopped when officers drove their squads into the minivan.
Police made several requests for Kline to exit the vehicle, the complaint said. The council member was eventually physically taken out of the driver’s seat by officers.
At the time of his arrest, Kline smelled of alcohol and showed signs of impairment. A breath sample showed a blood alcohol concentration of .20, more than twice the legal limit.
Tyler Kline won election last fall to serve the Ward I council seat vacated by Bill Blonigan, who had served in that seat for 40 years. Blonigan won election to become Robbinsdale mayor.
Kline works as an assistant to Senator Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope, according to the senator’s website.
The criminal complaint also listed Kline’s address as Plymouth, not Robbinsdale. Mayor Blonigan said he’s “99.99” percent sure that Kline lives in Robbinsdale.
Kline made his first court appearance Wednesday. According to jail records, Kline was released from custody after posting $20,000 bond.
CCX News Director Shannon Slatton contributed to this report.