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The Free Press

MANKATO — A man allegedly was intoxicated when he nearly struck a police officer and hit a parked vehicle while fleeing after a fight in Mankato early Sunday morning.

Raul Nathan Rodriguez Jr., 24, of St. James, was charged with felony fleeing police and misdemeanor counts of DWI and leaving the scene of an accident Tuesday in Blue Earth County District Court.

According to the court complaint: Mankato police were called to a report of 20 to 30 people fighting in the street in the 1100 block of Highland Avenue at 12:45 a.m.

A responding officer saw a male on foot punching a male driver in an SUV. The unidentified male ran away. The driver, later identified as Rodriguez, sped off and ran a stop sign. The police officer who tried to stop him from leaving had to quickly move back to avoid being hit.

Rodriguez’s SUV was found abandoned in Mankato after it struck a parked vehicle. Rodriguez was located later in Watonwan County.

A preliminary breathalyzer administered more than three hours after the initial call showed Rodriguez had a blood-alcohol content of 0.09. A test given almost four hours later gave a reading of 0.07.

Rodriguez admitted he fought with friends, saw the police officer and fled because he had been drinking. He said he did not drink any more alcohol between the time he fled and when he was apprehended.