Man who struck children on playground during high-speed chase sentenced

A 3-year-old suffered a serious brain injury

Sloane Martin
August 16, 2018 - 6:46 am

The man who plowed through a north Minneapolis park striking three children on June 11 was sentenced to about three years in prison Thursday.

Prosecutors say 27-year-old Kabaar Powell of Richfield didn't brake when he was fleeing police at dangerous speeds on surface streets and hit the young kids who were on the basketball court. He pleaded guilty one month later to the top charges against him out of five: one felony count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily harm and a second felony count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle resulting in substantial bodily harm.

“Mr. Powell’s reckless actions seriously injured one child, hurt another and had the potential to cause even greater damage since there were other children playing at the park with their dad,” Hennepin County Mike Freeman said then. “This didn’t have to happen, but we are pleased that Mr. Powell pleaded guilty and agreed to the aggravating factors in this case, which will allow for a more severe sentence than called for by the Minnesota sentencing guidelines.”

Prosecutors say speeds exceeded 80 miles per hour and Powell ran at least 22 stop signs. State troopers had attempted to pull him over for speeding on I-94 near 46th Avenue in Minneapolis. A high-speed chase ensured and spilled onto surface streets and a residential neighborhood, lasting about six minutes. 

He turned into Bohannon Park near the 5000 block of Dupont Ave. N. and sped onto a basketball court where the victims under four years old were playing basketball with their dad and other siblings. Powell struck the children and then crashed into a piece of playground equipment. He got out of the car and fled on foot but was apprehended by police a short time later.

Parents Kyle and Nicole Peltier told WCCO Radio days after the incident that 2-year-old Kayden Peltier suffered a brain injury. 

"I've never really felt this type of emotional range before from sadness to madness to confusion," he said.

Nicole Peltier, a student, panicked when she was at class and got the tragic phone call that Kayden was seriously injured.

"(I could) hear my kids in the background, like my older kids saying 'Kayden's dead mommy. You have to come right now,' and that they saw him get hit by the car," she recalled.

The Peltiers earlier indicated that they planned to sue State Patrol for not following policy and calling off the chase when it got too dangerous. Four-year-old Lillianna and 3-year-old Konnor were also injured.

Powell's license was revoked at the time of the crash.