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Man with criminal history St. Croix County charged with 7th OWI

Anthony P. Cardarelli

A Minnesota man convicted of injuring an off-duty sheriff's deputy in a 2014 hunting accident was back in St. Croix County jail after being charged with his seventh impaired driving offense.

Anthony P. Cardarelli, 32, was charged with the felony offense and drug paraphernalia possession following a May 1 arrest in the town of Hudson, where sheriff's deputies found his vehicle hung up on railroad tracks.

He was released from St. Croix County jail May 3 on a signature bond that was co-signed by his mother.

Cardarelli was convicted in October 2014 of endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, who initially charged him with a felony for the offense.

According to a criminal complaint:

A St. Croix County sheriff's deputy on patrol at 8:19 p.m. May 1 came upon a vehicle hung up on train tracks on County Road A near Dorwin Road in the town of Hudson. A man, who appeared disoriented to the deputy, was seen outside the vehicle.

The deputy identified the man as Cardarelli and noted signs of impairment — bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and difficulty in maintaining his balance.

A witness reported seeing the vehicle driving erratically so she followed it for a couple miles. During that time she watched the vehicle nearly collide head-on with another car. Cardarelli's vehicle then left the road and got stuck on the tracks.

Deputies examined Cardarelli's vehicle and found a marijuana pipe in plain view. Cardarelli told officers he had been taking opioid-addiction medication in prescribed amounts. He refused to perform field sobriety tests but said he would blow into a Breathalyzer, the results of which revealed a 0.00 blood-alcohol concentration.

Deputies reviewed Cardarelli's criminal history and learned he had previous drug-related impaired driving convictions. He was then arrested on suspicion of OWI involving controlled substances.

Cardarelli made state headlines in a 2014 hunting incident when he shot and wounded an off-duty Washington County Sheriff's Office commander who was scouting hunting land when a startled Cardarelli opened fire after hearing movement.

His OWI conviction history dates back to 2004, with the most recent conviction from 2014.

Cardarelli returns to court May 23.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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