Photo courtesy Star Tribune
GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - The Mercedes SUV believed to have been involved in a recent fatal hit and run in Minneapolis is registered to Joe Senser, his attorney, Eric Nelson confirmed to KARE 11 Thursday evening. The SUV was taken into police custody last Wednesday when a search warrant for Senser's property was executed by the Minnesota State Patrol.
Anousone Phanthavong, 38, of Roseville was filling up his car with gas on I-94 near Riverside Avenue when he was struck by a car last Tuesday night. The day after the accident, the Minnesota State Patrol received a phone call from Nelson, who is representing the Senser family. Nelson told the state patrol that his clients own the Merceded SUV involved in the hit and run.
"The Senser family is obviously very keenly aware of the tragedy that is involved here and they are attempting to deal with that as a family," Nelson said.
The trooper who was sent to the Senser home in Edina reported he noticed the vehicle had sustained damage to the front passenger side and front fender. According to the search warrant, the trooper also noticed "what appeared to be a blood-like substance" on the hood of the SUV.
Also taken from the vehicle were tissue samples, a bobby pin, a "Mike's" bottle cap, earrings, a toothpick and a bottle.
When asked specifically about the bottle and bottle cap Nelson said; "You know it speaks for itself. What was found in the car is what was found in the car."
The State Patrol met with Joe Senser and one member of his family on Tuesday, but Senser did not answer any questions regarding the hit and run, State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske told KARE 11 Thursday night. Under the rights provided by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, Senser was able to avoid answering any questions that may provide self-incriminating information.
"We are giving them as much information as we possibly can," Nelson told KARE 11.
Senser spent four seasons with the Vikings in the early 1980s and is now a part-owner and namesake of four Joe Senser's Sports Theater restaurants.
There have been no arrests in the case and no information has been released on who may have been driving the vehicle.
Nelson says the Senser family will be releasing a statement on this issue in the next day or two.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)