Police in St. Paul, Minn. are seeking a 42-year-old man charged with committing three offenses related to DWI in a time span of just four weeks. In one of the incidents, he is alleged to have abandoned his daughter, 12, on the highway after being involved in an accident.
As of Friday afternoon, police did not know the location of Deddrick Whitaker Sr. He had been ordered to surrender to jail by Oct. 17 to answer for one offense, but never appeared. Whitaker’s 42nd birthday was Saturday.
According to Minnesota driving records, Whitaker has been without a valid driver’s license since 2000. Even so, filings in the District Court of Ramsey County reveal a pattern to his recent run-ins with police that include accidents, erratic driving and exhibiting signs of driving while intoxicated.
One complaint filed against Whitaker details an incident which occurred on Aug.31 in which he and his daughter were traveling on I-94 just east of St. Paul. Whitaker was unable to maintain control the SUV he was driving and crashed into a cement wall. According to eyewitnesses, Whitaker and a young female emerged, arguing, from the white vehicle. He is then reported to have driven away from the scene, leaving the girl on the highway during a thunderstorm at 10:30 p.m., at which time she called 911. Whitaker made it only about six miles before being stopped by Maplewood police, who report that he appeared to be disoriented.
After being transported to Children’s Hospital with abdominal pain, the girl informed hospital workers that she had been at a barbecue with her dad when it began to storm. She told him that she was getting bored and asked him to drive her to her mom’s house. After noticing that her dad was being “crazy,” she grabbed the keys, but Whitaker snatched them from her and started driving. After the crash, she jumped from the car, telling her father that she would not get into the vehicle with him due to his behavior. Whitaker’s blood was later tested by police, who discovered PCP in his system. Charges of child endangerment and DWI in the second degree were filed against Whitaker on Friday.
Less than two weeks after that incident, on Sept. 11, dispatch was called multiple times with reports of a vehicle on I-35E swerving. A state trooper followed Whitaker as he ran into the guardrails on either side of the highway, hitting a safety cone in the process. His car then came to a stop against the median, which blocked a lane of the highway. The complaint filed in the case details that when the state trooper approached the driver’s side window and knocked, he noticed Whitaker in the driver’s seat staring ahead blankly. The trooper then saw the driver’s eyes roll back into his head as he began to drool. Upon the arrival of paramedics, Whitaker told the first responders he was going to kill them, at which time, according to the complaint, his “entire body…began twitching and shaking uncontrollably.” A later search of the car by police turned up nine packets of what is believed to be synthetic drugs and/or synthetic marijuana.
Whitaker was convicted on charges of DWI in the second-degree for refusing to submit to a urine or blood test. On Oct. 10, he was sentenced to a year in jail, of which he was ordered to serve 90 days. He was allowed seven days before which he had to report to jail.
Only two days prior to his Oct. 10 sentencing, Whitaker was again arrested after being found on foot near a Mercedes which had been in an accident in Shoreview. During the arrest, Ramsey County sheriff’s deputies were forced to Taser Whitaker after he became aggressive. When his pockets were searched, deputies discovered the Mercedes key. In his backpack, he had $512 in cash. On Friday, he was charged in that case with DWI in the first degree. With no certain location for Whitaker, police have issued a warrant for his arrest.
By Jennifer Pfalz
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