MANKATO, Minn. - A Shakopee man is charged with a laundry list of crimes ranging from first degree assault and assault with a dangerous weapon to DWI after police say he ran his car into a crowd of people in Mankato Sunday.
Friends say Juan Carlos Lamas, Jr. was with them at a party at the Lofts Apartments when he got into an argument over wanting to buy some marijuana. That argument led to a fight among several party-goers, and one of the men with Lamas tell police they were outnumbered and had to flee the party. The two men who were with Lamas say he ran out of the building chased by a number of people, jumped in his Cadillac and floored it. One witness told investigators it was self-defense as they feared for their safety.
When officers arrived on the scene they found six people injured after getting struck by a car, at least three of them severely. One had a nearly decapitated leg, and another had a severely broken leg and foot.
Witnesses told responding officers that a black Cadillac had driven into the crowd and struck multiple people at a high rate of speed. That Cadillac was spotted by a Blue Earth County Deputy driving down County Road 90 with sparks flying from its undercarriage. The driver turned the lights off in an attempt to evade law enforcement, but officers were eventually able to pull the Cadillac over. The 21-year-old Lamas was driving the vehicle, and officers on the scene noticed a strong smell of alcohol, slurred speech and bloodshot eyes.
The criminal complaint says Lamas told detectives he was drunk, and said "I had to hit those people so I would not get beat up." And "I'm sorry for trying to get away from you guys I was scared.'