A 36-year-old Farmington man and South St. Paul police sergeant was charged on Friday in Dakota County District Court with one felony count of fleeing police in a motor vehicle and three misdemeanors, including two fourth-degree driving while impaired charges and fourth-degree criminal damage to property.
Cory Michael Slifko was arrested on Tuesday in Rosemount after he allegedly was driving off-duty with a blood-alcohol content of twice the legal limit, evaded a police officer in the Kwik Trip gas pump and parking area and had to have his vehicle stopped by a squad car ramming into it, according to the criminal complaint.
The situation could have ended worse as Slifko’s Trail Blazer allegedly struck a gas pump and another vehicle and forced a semi-truck driver to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision in the often busy downtown area of Highway 3/South Robert Trail.
The Pioneer Press reported that Slifko, who has been with the department for 13 years, was placed on paid administrative leave the day after the incident.
The criminal complaint gave the following account.
A motorist called 911 at approximately 10:26 a.m. to report that a black sport-utility vehicle traveling northbound on Highway 3 south of Rosemount had gone off the road, drove through a ditch, hit a number of mailboxes and signs and nearly ran a semi-truck off the road.
A Rosemount police officer observed the suspect vehicle, which had significant front-end damage and a damaged and dangling driver’s-side mirror, at the intersection of Highway 3 and County Road 42, just south of the Kwik Trip.
After the Rosemount officer observed Slifko’s vehicle hit the right curb twice, he activated his overhead lights then Slifko allegedly drove over the curb into the Kwik Trip parking lot.
Slifko allegedly slowed in the south portion of the parking area but continued through the lot and struck a truck’s trailer, gas pumps and then a parked vehicle when the Rosemount officer pushed the Trail Blazer in an attempt to stop it.
But Slifko kept driving toward the north exit, which caused a northbound semi-truck on Highway 3 to brake abruptly. After Slifko turned north, the Rosemount officer used his vehicle to push the Trail Blazer against the curb to finally stop it.
Slifko failed several field sobriety tests and his preliminary breath test reportedly was 0.175 and a test at the police station was 0.16. The legal limit is 0.08.
He said he had consumed four or five drinks, and that it had been four or five hours since his last drink.
When he was asked if he knew where he was, Slifko allegedly said he was “in Empire,” which is located just south of Rosemount.
The maximum penalty for the felony charge is a three-year sentence and a $5,000 fine.