Rothsay man charged with attempted murder, accused of running over girlfriend with SUV
FERGUS FALLS, Minn. – A 34-year-old Rothsay man is charged with attempted murder after allegedly running his girlfriend over with his car.
According to documents filed Tuesday in Otter Tail County District Court, a driver headed west Sunday on County Highway 24 near Rothsay came upon a sobbing, distraught woman who was shoeless and covered with burns, bruises and scrapes.
After inviting the woman into his car, the driver called the Otter Tail Sheriff’s Department.
The woman told authorities she and her boyfriend, Casey Paul Grunewald, had been visiting his brother and had gotten into an argument on the drive home.
Grunewald pulled over and ordered her out of his SUV, she said, and so she grabbed her purse and got out, walking away.
She told deputies that Grunewald also got out of the vehicle, grabbing her hair and throwing her down. She said she managed to get up, but Grunewald got back behind the wheel, threw the SUV into reverse and hit the gas, running her over, deputies allege in court records.
The girlfriend told deputies she was trapped beneath the SUV and thought she was going to die.
Screaming, she grabbed either the exhaust pipe or the muffler, the heat blistering her palm and the road’s gravel tearing at the flesh on her right shoulder blade and shoulder.
Burned all over her lower back and buttocks, foot and leg, and bruised and scraped, she told authorities she managed to escape when Grunewald put the vehicle back in drive and pulled forward.
She told the deputy she ran for a mile and a half without shoes, hearing him yell something about a flat tire as she left.
Court documents say deputies tracked Grunewald to a friend’s house. On the way there, a deputy saw a black SUV drive through a stop sign at 330th Street and County Road 88.
The deputy put his lights on, and the SUV took off at about 80 mph, blowing another stop sign on County Road 11 into Wilkin County and racing away on gravel roads.
The SUV finally came to a stop at Grunewald’s home, where he got out and, while speaking with the deputy, told him he had drank about a 12-pack of beer throughout the day.
He failed a field sobriety test at the scene, court documents state, and a preliminary breath test came back with a 0.186 percent blood-alcohol content, more than twice the legal limit to drive.
Grunewald was charged with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, two counts of criminal vehicular operation and one count of fleeing, all felonies.
He also was charged with failure to stop resulting in injury, driving while intoxicated, which are gross misdemeanors, and two counts of domestic assault, which are misdemeanors.
His bail was set at $100,000 with conditions.
His next court appearance is set for July 21.