Hennepin County Sheriff Dave Hutchinson was reportedly “crawling along the road” after he drunkenly crashed his vehicle in Alexandria last week, according to police scanner audio.
The audio was released Thursday afternoon by photojournalist Rebecca Brannon, who published pictures from the crash earlier in the day.
“Caller states male party was crawling along the road,” a dispatcher says in the audio clip. One of the first responders then says Hutchinson has “some cuts pretty bad on his face and on his back.”
“It’s not on the wheels. It’s not tangled up but it is really mangled,” the first responder says, referring to the sheriff’s vehicle. Another first responder says they are in need of a “flatbed” because “it’s completely wrecked here.”
Part 2 Audio:
“It is not on the wheels… it’s not tangled up, but it is really mangled.”
— Rebecca Brannon (@RebsBrannon) December 16, 2021
Hutchinson, a Democrat who was endorsed by Gov. Tim Walz and other top officials, drunkenly rolled his vehicle off the road while traveling home to Minneapolis from a sheriffs’ conference in Alexandria last week. After the accident, his urine revealed a blood alcohol content of .13 — nearly twice the legal limit of .08.
He announced in a statement Thursday that he has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge. As of last week, Hutchinson was also facing a charge for carrying a pistol under the influence of alcohol. The status of that charge is unclear.
“As Sheriff, I made the wellness of my staff a priority; however, I didn’t practice what I preached. This incident is a wake-up call for me. I understand the seriousness of my actions, for which I take full responsibility,” said Hutchinson.
The sheriff said he is now enrolled in an outpatient treatment program to address his issues with alcohol. He appears to have no intention of resigning, concluding his statement with: “I have returned to work and will focus on my duties as Sheriff.”
Hutchinson was reportedly driving a county-owned vehicle during the crash and two 50-round boxes of ammo were allegedly found at the scene days later.