A Wyndmere, North Dakota man is accused of leading law enforcement on a chase in Wahpeton while under the influence of methamphetamine.
Ernesto Hermicillo, 38, made his initial appearance in Richland County District Court Monday, Sept. 14. He is facing one charge each of reckless endangerment and fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer, both class C felony-level crimes, and first offense driving under the influence of drugs with a minor, a class A misdemeanor.
A Saturday, Sept. 12 incident was investigated by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office. Richland County Communications received a call saying Hermicillo left Wyndmere with two minor children in a black Dodge pickup. He was allegedly under the influence of methamphetamine. There was not proper child restraint equipment in the pickup, court documents state.
Communications also received reports of a Dodge pickup driving erratically, going the wrong way on North Dakota Highway 13 and driving in and out of traffic. Officers with both the sheriff’s department and Wahpeton Police Department caught up to the vehicle at two separate Wahpeton locations.
From there, documents continue, officers gave chase with both lights and sirens as Hermicillo allegedly continued to drive, waving his hands out the window. At that point, officers were attempting to stop Hermicillo on the reckless endangerment charge and to continue investigating whether he was under the influence.
Hermicillo allegedly kept driving until he called into Richland County Communications to tell them that he was going to stop, which he eventually did in downtown Wahpeton.
“Once the defendant complied with the traffic stop, officers found the two (children) not properly restrained in the vehicle, scared and crying,” documents continued.
Hermicillo allegedly admitted to being under the influence of methamphetamine. Officers also received reports from pedestrians on bikes that were allegedly almost struck by Hermicillo and a driver who was allegedly almost struck by Hermicillo at a stoplight.
Richland County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Moen represents the prosecution. Public Defender Don Krassin represents the defense. Judge Bradley Cruff presides.
Hermicillo was ordered by Judge Cruff to undergo drug testing and comply with the orders of the RSR Human Services Zone, which Richland County, North Dakota, is part of. Hermicillo’s bail was set at $1,000 cash or surety.
The maximum penalty for a class C felony is five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both. The maximum penalty for a class A misdemeanor is 360 days imprisonment, a $3,000 fine, or both.
Hermicillo is currently confined in the Richland County Jail.