A Brooklyn Park man has been charged with a felony after Burnsville police say he fled during a traffic stop last week in which officers found marijuana in his car.
Stephen Robert Irrgang, 30, is charged with fleeing a peace officer in a vehicle, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, officers with the Dakota County Drug Task Force were conducting surveillance in a parking lot at a Burnsville store on Aug. 25 when they spotted Irrgang’s car parked away from other vehicles and Irrgang sitting alone in the car for 15 to 20 minutes.
Police say Irrgang repeatedly leaned toward the center console in the car, ducking beneath the dash, then sitting up and looking around. At one point, he sat up and exhaled a “large amount” of smoke, according to the complaint.
When Irrgang drove away, agents noticed that his car’s windshield was cracked from the passenger side to the driver’s side, obstructing the driver’s view, the complaint says.
Officers activated their emergency light and siren and stopped Irrgang’s car. An agent approached his car and smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana inside the car, according to the complaint, and asked Irrgang to give him the drugs.
Irrgang handed over a glass pipe from the dashboard and a container of a green leafy substance from the glove box and admitted to police that he had been smoking marijuana, the complaint says.
When an officer asked Irrgang to get out of his car, he put the car in drive and sped north on Aldrich Avenue, then turned right and headed east on County Road 42, not stopping for a red light, according to the complaint.
Agents followed Irrgang to County Road 42, then stopped the pursuit because of the traffic congestion in the area.
Police notified the dispatch center that a suspect had fled, and provided Irrgang’s license number. Twenty minutes later, agents were notified that Irrgang had called 911 and said he was parked in a gas station lot in Burnsville.
When agents arrived, Irrgang was standing outside his car, and he was arrested. He told police he got scared because he thought his co-workers might see him, and he thought he would be going to jail for marijuana possession, the complaint says.
Irrgang told police that he fled because he wanted to pick up his children and get them “somewhere safe” before he turned himself in to police, according to the complaint.
Irrgang is free on bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled for Nov. 14 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.