Case of Cloquet police officer moves on to jury trialIt appears the case of a Cloquet police officer accused of leaving the scene of a traffic accident after attending a Ted Nugent concert at Fortune Bay Casino on Labor Day weekend is headed for a jury trial.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
VIRGINIA – It appears the case of a Cloquet police officer accused of leaving the scene of a traffic accident after attending a Ted Nugent concert at Fortune Bay Casino on Labor Day weekend is headed for a jury trial.
Scott Robert Beckman, 46, of Esko appeared for a contested omnibus hearing on Wednesday in Sixth District Court in Virginia, with Judge Gary Pagliaccetti ruling that sufficient probable cause was found to move the case ahead to a jury trial. The date for Beckman’s trial was set for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 29.
Beckman is charged with three crimes, including failure in the duties of a driver for allegedly failing to give notice by the quickest means of communication to law enforcement; hit and run for allegedly failing to immediately stop and remain at the scene of an accident; and falsely reporting a crime for allegedly providing false information to an officer regarding the conduct of others. The first crime is a gross misdemeanor, the other two are misdemeanors.
Beckman is free on his own recognizance until his next hearing.
Beckman is a patrol officer and has been with the department 10 years. According to Police Chief Wade Lamirande, he is still working and an internal review will not take place until the criminal case is concluded.
According to the criminal complaint: A male driver reported to 911 that he had rear-ended another vehicle on Lake Vermilion Reservation Road near the intersection of County Road 77 about 10 p.m. on Sept. 4. He said the vehicle he hit left the scene. His passenger was treated for an ankle sprain at a Hibbing hospital.
The next day, Beckman reported the accident to a St. Louis County sheriff’s deputy. He said he had been rear-ended the previous evening and he pulled over, but the car that hit him continued to travel.
A second deputy interviewed Beckman at his Esko residence. The defendant said he had been at a Ted Nugent concert the night before and had a few beers. He said he was stopped in traffic when another vehicle rear-ended him. He said he kept going because other vehicles around him kept moving. The deputy noted that that statement was inconsistent with the first statement Beckman gave to the other deputy, specifically that he had earlier said he had stopped at the scene, and the vehicle that hit him did not stop.
Pine Journal Editor Jana Peterson contributed to this story.