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Police: Cottage Grove man crashes car, walks into stranger's home

A Cottage Grove man allegedly crashed a car into a cornfield in the middle of the night and then walked into a nearby home and rested on the stranger's couch.

A bloodied and intoxicated Eric J. Kaupang, 30, was hospitalized early Thursday, Aug. 15, and could face multiple criminal charges in connection with the incident.

According to police, a Hillside Trail homeowner called 911 about 2:30 a.m. to report hearing squealing tires and then a loud crash nearby. Police found a vehicle in a cornfield in the 9600 block of 90th Street, between Jewel and Keats avenues. The vehicle was unoccupied but there was damage to the steering column and blood at the scene.

As police were looking for the driver, a homeowner in the 9100 block of Jeffery Avenue called 911 to report finding an injured man in her home. The man, later identified as Kaupang, apparently had walked from the crash scene to the Jeffery Avenue home, entered through an unlocked sliding door and rested on the couch, according to the police report.

The homeowner yelled at the man, who was covered in blood and slurring his speech, and he walked out the front door and stopped in the driveway. When police arrived, Kaupang allegedly admitted that he crashed his car.

Kaupang had significant facial injuries, including gaping holes in his skin and a lip that was split down to his chin, according to the report.

Police plan to seek criminal charges of third-degree drunken driving, second-degree refusal to submit to a sobriety test and driving after suspension.

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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