Officials say woman deliberately hit squad car, told trooper to shoot her
MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — Shortly after ramming her vehicle into the back of a squad car earlier this week, a Maplewood woman reached for the trooper's gun and told him to shoot her, authorities say.
Andrea Elizabeth Perez, 47, now faces one count of first-degree assault against a peace officer, according to the criminal complaint filed against her Thursday, March 8, in Ramsey County District Court.
Perez also was charged via warrant with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and attempting to disarm a peace officer.
The incident took place at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday when a trooper pulled over on the right shoulder of Interstate 35E at Arlington Avenue and suddenly had another vehicle slam into him, court documents say.
Startled and experiencing pain in his back, the trooper got out of his vehicle to check on the condition of the driver of the Hyundai Sonata that had just hit him.
He found Perez hunched over her steering wheel with her airbag deployed. He asked her if she was all right, according to the complaint.
That's when Perez, in a monotone voice, instructed him to shoot her, authorities say. The encounter is captured on video and audio on the trooper's dash camera.
"You're going to have to shoot me because this isn't going to end well," the woman said, according to legal documents.
When the trooper responded that there was no reason for anybody to shoot anybody, Perez told him that she had struck him intentionally and that she planned to shoot him if he didn't act first, the complaint said.
"You tried to hit me on purpose?" the trooper asked her.
"Yes. This is not going to end well. I'm telling you now," the woman responded before directing the trooper to "grab (his) gun," the complaint said.
That's when authorities say she began to reach for the trooper's holstered pistol.
Two men who pulled over to assist stepped in and helped the trooper take the woman to the ground, where she was placed in handcuffs.
A witness of the incident told investigators that Perez appeared to deliberately swerve to hit the officer, the complaint said.
Video and audio of the crash captured on the trooper's squad camera corroborates that account, authorities say.
The trooper sustained minor injuries in the crash and was taken to United Hospital for evaluation. Perez, who was uninjured but suspected of being under the influence of drugs at the time, was also transported.
She remains hospitalized, authorities say.
West St. Paul firefighters encountered her about a half hour earlier that day, said West St. Paul Police Lt. Brian Sturgeon.
Firefighters heading to a call noticed a white vehicle parked in the middle of a driveway shared by the fire and police departments, and it remained there when they returned, Sturgeon said. They tried talking to the driver, who was alone in the car.
"She stared straight ahead," Sturgeon said. "Our understanding is that she did not acknowledge the firefighters and, after about 20 seconds, she fled out of the parking lot at a high rate of speed."
Police checked the area, but didn't find the driver.
Perez' criminal history includes a seat belt violation and parking citation.
Perez declined to talk to investigators after her arrest, authorities say.
No attorney was listed for her in court records and she could not be reached for comment.