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Driver crashes into flagpole, then trees in northeast Brainerd

Defendant has previous controlled substance convictions from 2017 and 2018 and a prior DWI conviction from 2018.

The Crow Wing County Judicial Center is along Laurel Street near downtown Brainerd.
The Crow Wing County Judicial Center is along Laurel Street near downtown Brainerd.

A 21-year-old Brainerd man faces drug charges after crashing his car into a flagpole at Cub Foods in Brainerd and then crashing into a group of trees by Mr. Tubbs.

Blake Cameron Gerhardt was charged Oct. 18 in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with felony fifth-degree drug possession, gross misdemeanor driving while intoxicated, and two misdemeanor traffic violations.

The judge ordered bond of $30,000 with no conditions or $10,000 bond with conditions to include not leaving the state, remaining law-abiding, making all future court appearances, not entering bars or liquor stores, and not possessing alcohol, firearms or dangerous weapons. Gerhardt posted bond and is no longer in custody. His next court appearance is Nov. 12.

According to the statement of probable cause document filed against Gerhardt, at 11:06 a.m. Oct. 16, a Brainerd police officer saw a vehicle stopped in the middle of Eighth Avenue in Brainerd and a light pole lying in the intersection of Eighth Avenue and E Street. The officer also saw a white four-door passenger car stopped in the northwest corner of the Mr. Tubbs Laundry and Car Wash parking lot. The vehicle had run into a group of trees on the north side of the property and sustained significant front-end damage to the vehicle. A man, later identified as Gerhardt, sitting in the driver's seat.

The officer asked Gerhardt, whose license status was revoked, if he was OK, and Gerhardt did not verbally respond. From the officer’s training and experience, it appeared the man was exhibiting signs that can be a result of an opiate overdose, the complaint stated. The man was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

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While officers were on scene, Crow Wing County dispatch advised they received a report from Cub Foods of a white four-door vehicle that hit the store’s flagpole and fled the area. This incident occurred a couple blocks away from the vehicle crash and within a matter of minutes, involving a vehicle of the same description. Police also identified a witness who saw the defendant drive through the intersection, strike the light pole and then crash into the trees.

Gerhardt has previous controlled substance convictions from 2017 and 2018 and a prior DWI conviction from 2018.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTS
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