VanZee charged with felony assaults and damage to property

Cody Michael VanZee, 18, Hillman, was charged Feb. 20, with three felony counts of second degree assault with a dangerous weapon and one felony count of first degree damage to property.

On Oct. 13, 2012, a report was received by the Morrison County Sheriff’s Office concerning a truck being rammed off the road by another vehicle. The victim said he had attended a party at VanZee’s residence and when he and two others were leaving, a vehicle drove around them on the driveway and stopped, blocking their way. He said he drove around that vehicle and left.

According to the criminal complaint, the suspect vehicle then followed them at a high rate of speed. The victim stated the vehicle tried to force them off the road and that he drove into a field and then back onto the road.

The victim said when he tried to stop for a stop sign, he was rammed by the other vehicle. He said his truck got rammed several times throughout the course of the chase until the two vehicles crashed into each other and ended up in the ditch.

The victim told officers that VanZee got out of the driver’s seat, ran up to the truck and kicked the headlight and punched the truck.

The victim said the vehicle then drove away and the chase ended.

Deputies photographed the damage to the truck and a later estimate showed the damage was estimated at $4,000. They also took statements from the passengers in the truck who gave consistent reports of the incident.

VanZee allegedly admitted he had been drinking alcohol and told an investigator he was upset with the victim for a statement he made. He admits blocking the truck in his driveway and chasing the victim, but at first denied ramming it. According to the criminal complaint, he eventually admitted it was possible he rammed the truck. He also admitted breaking the front light.

If convicted, VanZee faces a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment and/or a $14,000 fine.