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Man who hit Army recruiters in Roseville sentenced to more than 15 years in prison
A Minneapolis man has been sentenced to 189 months in prison in connection with a Roseville hit-and-run incident in which one of the victims was dragged nearly a mile.
Enrico Darius Taylor, 53, pleaded guilty in November in Ramsey County District Court to one count of first-degree assault and one count of criminal vehicular operation. The incident occurred Sept. 17 at the Crossroads of Roseville shopping center. Two U.S. Army recruiters were struck in a crosswalk in front of the Roseville Army recruitment office at 1649 County Road B2.
One of recruiters was bounced onto the vehicle's hood and another was dragged between the vehicle's undercarriage and the pavement roughly three-fourths mile. The victim who was dragged, 42-year-old Staff Sgt. Travis Torgerson, wasn't able to free himself until the vehicle reached Prior Avenue, and Taylor continued to drive away. Torgerson suffered numerous broken bones and needed several skin grafts as a result of the incident.
The other Army recruiter who was struck, 29-year-old Staff Sgt. Michael Stroud, was able to walk away from the incident.
According to the criminal complaint, Taylor told police he panicked after hitting the two men because his driver's license was suspended and said he didn't see Torgerson and Stroud crossing the street before hitting them.
On Wednesday, Judge Judith M. Tilsen sentenced Taylor to the maximum sentence of 189 months in prison with credit for 121 days served.
Before the judge handed down her sentence, Torgerson was given the opportunity to address the court. He asked Tilsen to impose the maximum sentence.
"The time he gets in my eyes is very short," Torgerson said. "I get to live with this pain for the rest of my life."
Torgerson said every day is a challenge because of his injuries, and added that the incident has affected his family in many ways. His wife took 17 weeks off work to care for him and be by his side in the hospital, he noted, and he can no longer play with his young children like he used to.
Torgerson, who has spent 21 years in the military and been deployed multiple times, said after seeing atrocities overseas he's outraged that this hit-and-run incident occurred in Roseville.
"I have to go through this in my home, in my backyard," Torgerson said with a tone of disbelief.
Taylor was also given the chance to address the court, at which time he apologized for his actions. Taylor said he is blind in one eye and has impaired vision in the other, and panicked when his vehicle struck the men in the crosswalk.
"I made a hasty, wrong, wrong decision," Taylor said.
Taylor said he has never caused physical injuries to anyone before this, and asked for the minimum sentence.
The judge, however, said despite Taylor's tearful apology she was not convinced he was truly sorry for his actions, but mainly for the situation he's in now. She said that in her 25 years in law enforcement, this case was "one of the worst" she has seen.
"There is no excuse for this behavior," Tilsen said. "This is unspeakable behavior."
Tilsen added that she believes Torgerson is alive only because of his military training, and not because of any actions taken by Taylor.
"It is a miracle that Mr. Torgerson is not dead," Tilsen said.
Alex Holmquist can be reached at email@example.com or 651-748-7813.