Police Set Up Perimeter to Catch Fleeing Drunken Driving Suspect

Police say Michael Soniama Sundufu, of Hopkins, fled a police officer, forcing police to set up a perimeter around a Minnetonka apartment building, and then refused to submit to chemical testing.

A Hopkins man has been charged with felony drunken driving after police say he refused to submit to chemical tests and fled, which forced officers to set up a perimeter around a Minnetonka apartment building so they could arrest him.

Michael Soniama Sundufu, 26, is charged with first-degree driving while impaired—refusal to submit to chemical test, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

Sundufu also faces lesser charges of driving with a canceled license and providing false information to police, gross misdemeanors with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, and fleeing police, a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

A Minnetonka police officer on routine patrol at 12:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at Smetana Road and Smetana Drive West spotted a car doing 40 mph in a 30 mph zone. The officer turned around her squad car to stop the suspect vehicle, which turned into an apartment complex parking lot.

The driver, later identified as Sundufu, got out of the car and walked quickly toward the building. The officer ordered him to stop; he appeared nervous, speaking quickly and not making sense, according to the complaint.

Sundufu initially gave the officer his brother’s name. She asked him to sit in his car while she checked his record; he sat down briefly, but got out and ran into the apartment building, the complaint charges.

Officers from several jurisdictions were called to the scene and set up a perimeter around the apartment building using K-9 officers. Sundufu was arrested. When police determined his true identity, they discovered that his driver’s license had been canceled.

Police asked Sundufu to take a preliminary breath test, and he refused, asking if he could call an attorney. He made two telephone calls, but didn’t speak to any attorneys, according to the complaint, and continued to refuse to submit to chemical tests.

Sundufu’s criminal record includes DWI convictions in 2008 and 2009. He was convicted in 2011 of obstructing the legal process during an arrest after a traffic accident, when he was driving with a revoked driver’s license.

Sundufu has been released from custody on a $50,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Jan. 25 in Hennepin County District Court.


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