ROCHESTER, Minn. – A report of child abuse turned into a multi-agency search that found a man and his child in a field in near-freezing temperatures.
The Rochester Police Department says it got a call around 12:30 am on September 26 from a 15-year-old male in the area of Center Street and West Frontage Road. The boy told officers he and his four-year-old sister had been driving around with their father, Michael Emmers, 37 of Rochester.
The boy told police his father seemed drunk and started punching him. The boy said he jumped out of the car at a red light at 2nd Street and his father drove away with his sister. Rochester police say they tracked the car to the Byron area and a search was started involving the Olmsted and Dodge County sheriff’s offices, the Kasson Police Department, and an airplane from the Minnesota State Patrol.
Rochester police say they contacted the father by phone and he sounded intoxicated, saying he and his daughter were in a field.
The car was found near Highway 14 and 2nd Avenue NW and the State Patrol plane detected a heat signature about 500 feet south of the vehicle. Rochester police say Emmers and his daughter were located in a field with the temperature about 40 degrees.
Emmers was arrested and booked into the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center on charges of second- and third-degree DWI, domestic assault, child endangerment, and disorderly conduct.
The 15-year-old male and his four-year-old sister were taken to St. Marys Hospital for evaluation. Rochester police say neither child appeared to have suffered a life-threatening injury.