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Forum News Service, Published May 30 2013

Minnesota man accused of ramming vehicle faces 7 felony charges

VIRGINIA, Minn. - A Virginia man who allegedly rammed a vehicle carrying a family with his Chevrolet Suburban was charged Thursday with seven felonies and one gross misdemeanor.

James Michael Richards, 30, was charged in State District Court in Virginia with four counts of assault in the second degree, two counts of terroristic threats and one count of criminal damage to property in the first degree -- all felonies - and a gross misdemeanor count of driving while impaired in the third degree.

According to the criminal complaint, Jeff and Sheila Henry, with grandchildren in their vehicle, were driving Tuesday evening when a Suburban came up behind them and hit their vehicle twice. At an intersection, the Suburban pulled alongside and Richards got out, hitting the passenger side of the Henrys’ vehicle and swearing, the complaint said.

When Richards drove off, Jeff Henry called 911 and Sheila Henry drove after him in an attempt to read his license plate, the complaint said. Richards is accused of later putting the Suburban in reverse and backing a half-block to ram the Henry vehicle. The Henrys followed Richard until he parked on the grass in front of a house, and then walked back to their vehicle to say he was going to go in the house to get a gun to shoot them, the complaint said.

Police arrested Richard in front of the home, and a breath test indicated a blood-alcohol content of 0.12. The threshold for drunken driving in Minnesota is 0.08.