Crime beat: Rochester police arrest woman on her 7th DWI charge

Crime beat: Rochester police arrest woman on her 7th DWI charge

A Stewartville woman was arrested Thursday night for her 7th DWI.

Elizabeth Smith, 29, was stopped around 10:30 p.m. after an officer observed her nearly run into the railing of a bridge on 12th Street SW in Rochester. 

Smith failed the sobriety test and registered a blood alcohol concentration of .18, more than double the legal limit. She also initially lied about her identity, notes the police report.

She faces a felony charge of 1st-degree DWI, as well as gross misdemeanors for driving without a license and providing a false name.

According to police, Smith had already registered six (three in both Wis. and Minn.) drunk driving charges since 2007. The most recent arrest came in 2014.

Gunshot leads to arrest

A joint investigation by the Rochester Police Department and Olmsted County Sheriff's Office has led to the arrest of 34-year-old John Netherton.

The investigation dates back to Dec. 5 when authorities say Netherton showed up to a home in the 1300 block of 8th Avenue SE in Rochester and fired a single shot. There was no damage to property.

Photo: John Netherton

Photo: John Netherton

In a strange series of events, a 43-year-old man who lived at the home then got into the vehicle with two other women. He told officers he was frightened after hearing the shot, according to the report.

The group then drove down to the 6600 block of Simpson Road SE in Pleasant Grove Township. When the vehicle stopped, the 43-year-old complainant got out, ran away and called public safety.

Deputies later conducted a "high risk traffic stop" of the vehicle. No arrests were made at the time, but the vehicle was impounded.

Days later, after obtaining a search warrant, investigators located one 9mm live round and one spent casing in the vehicle, says the report.

Netherton was located Thursday around 4:30 p.m. at the Comfort Inn on Bandel Road in northwest Rochester. He faces multiple felony charges, including 2nd-degree assault and reckless discharge of a firearm.

Authorities say all the parties involved know each other and that evidence suggests that drugs may have been involved.

Stolen vehicle arrest

Rochester police arrested Michael Common, 34, Thursday night for driving a stolen vehicle. The stop was made around 7 p.m. in the area of 11th Avenue and 2nd Street NE.

According to police, the officer's automatic license plate reader (the only one currently in use) alerted the officer to the vehicle. The car was reported stolen about a week ago.

During the stop, officers also found 16 grams of synthetic marijuana. Common faces felony charges for motor vehicle theft and sale of a synthetic cannabinoid.

Photo: Michael Common


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