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Cop charged after attempting to flee police

A Farmington resident and South St. Paul police officer has been charged with DWI and fleeing police following a July 11 incident in which he attempted to evade a Rosemount officer in a Kwik Trip parking lot.

According to a criminal complaint filed this week in the Dakota County Attorney’s office, Rosemount police officer Ryan Coughlin stopped 36-year-old Cory Michael Slifko around 10:30 a.m. after receiving a complaint about erratic driving behavior.

Coughlin found Slifko, who was driving a Chevrolet TrailBlazer, while Slifko was sitting at a red light. The SUV had damage to the front end and the driver’s side mirror was damaged and hanging off of the vehicle. Coughlin reported this to dispatch and was told that a black SUV had been reported going off the road, through a ditch and hitting a number of mailboxes, as well as nearly running a semi off the road. After watching the TrailBlazer cross over the fog line and go up onto the curb before returning to the roadway, Coughlin tried to make a traffic stop.

The driver of the TrailBlazer seemed to slow down and pull to the right. The driver then proceeded to swerve right and drove over the curb and into a Kwik Trip parking lot. He continued driving through the parking lot, hitting a trailer owned by a landscaping company as well as gas pumps. Coughlin positioned his car to keep Slifko from leaving the parking lot, but the driver made a left turn toward the front of the Kwik Trip. Coughlin again attempted to stop the TrailBlazer by pushing it into a parked vehicle, but the attempt was unsuccessful. The driver continued toward the north exit of Kwik Trip.

As he began to exit, the TrailBlazer had to stop for a semi, which also abruptly stopped. Coughlin got out of his vehicle, assuming the driver would be stopped, but Slifko continued out of the parking lot onto Highway 3, heading northbound.

Coughlin was able to maneuver the vehicle up against the curb and speak to Slifko.

According to the complaint, Slifko said he was “very tired.” Coughlin observed that the defendant smelled of alcohol and had bloodshot eyes.

Coughlin questioned him further, and the defendant said he had four to five drinks, four to five hours prior to driving. The defendant stated he was going home, and said he lived in Farmington. The officer asked him if he knew where he was and the defendant said “in Empire.”

Slifko failed field sobriety tests. Coughlin also administered a preliminary breath test, which reported a value of .175. Slifko was arrested and brought to the Rosemount Police Department. The defendant did not request to speak to an attorney. He also consented to a breath test, which Coughlin administered. The breath test reported a value of .16.