Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Expecting a crash, but witnessing something else along I-35E May 10, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,
Traffic slowed going into this curve along I 35E in St. Paul.

Traffic slowed going into this curve along Interstater 35E in St. Paul. A few motorists chose to disobey the signage, skirting onto the shoulder reserved for authorized buses only.

TRAFFIC CLOGGED JUST SOUTH OF DOWNTOWN St. Paul early Sunday evening in the southbound lanes of Interstate 35E near the 104C/Victoria Street exit.

With the road curving in this stretch of interstate, neither my husband or I could see what awaited us. We expected an accident. But, instead, we saw a couple sitting on a slip of grass between the interstate and exit ramp. At first I thought they were crash victims. They were not.

An officer carries bags to his squad.

An officer carries bags to his squad.

The pair was handcuffed and a police officer was carrying several clear plastic bags—presumably evidence—to the back of his squad. A closer examination of my photos shows what appears to be cash inside one of the bags.


Police activity, 83


After snapping a few frames, I glanced back to see a second officer leading the young woman away in handcuffs. She could have been a model; she was that stunning.


Police activity, 84 couple


The expression on the young man’s dazed face appeared wary, scared and haunting.

The traffic snarl didn’t last long. But the questions I have linger. Who are this man and woman? What led them to this spot in this situation on this evening? What’s their story?


Police activity, 87 couple close-up


I scrolled through the Ramsey County Jail inmate list and found two arrests at the time and location of the incident I witnessed. But because I can’t be 100 percent certain in tying records to the couple I photographed, I’m not detailing what I found. You can choose to look if you wish. Or you can choose to wonder about this couple who, on Mother’s Day evening, found themselves handcuffed alongside a metro Minnesota interstate.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


22 Responses to “Expecting a crash, but witnessing something else along I-35E”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Hmm. Interesting.

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    Great series of photos. I don’t ever want to find myself road-side in handcuffs.

  3. Almost Iowa Says:

    It appears as if you always have a camera ready. 🙂

    • I often do. And when I don’t, I wish I did. But even sometimes with a camera at the ready, I miss shots I don’t anticipate (like the guy who was looking at his cell phone while driving on the interstate.)

  4. Crime reporting could be your thing! That shot of the woman standing up in the cuffs while her partner is still sitting in the grass is a good one.

  5. Rick Says:

    It is a small world. We passed the same site, apparently shortly before you, I had to look at your photos to see if our vehicle was in them. The couple were still sitting as we went by. We rarely drive that route.

  6. Jackie Says:

    Did you notice the baseball cap in her lap in the 4th photo???? Where did it come from and where did it go?

    • Yes, I did notice the cap and I can only assume it belongs to the guy in the photo. But I don’t know for sure.

      The cap is on her lap until she stands and then it’s on the ground by her feet. I know you likely can’t see that in the pix here. But I zoomed in on them and that’s the answer.

  7. Carol King Says:

    There’s a sadness about that, though we all know that people make their choices. Still, they look young, neatly dressed, maybe a bit dazed. Not at all the image of scruffiness and defiance often visible in those who have run-ins with the police. Hopefully, this is just a moment in their lives and not the forever picture.

  8. Kathleen Schlosser Says:

    Strange….We went past there and saw them at that time also… BUT…the arrest/booking log actually shows FOUR individuals arrested at that time and place….NOT only two… never saw a 2nd couple myself.

  9. Littlesundog Says:

    You just never know the story. News out of Oklahoma City always has interesting police busts and chases. I always say a silent prayer as I pass by scenes like this or if I see them on TV. We all learn from our mistakes… or we don’t. I always hope for the best for people. 🙂

  10. treadlemusic Says:

    Sad. On a day that’s set aside to be with/honor “family”/Mothers, we are given a glimpse into what occurs far too frequently (of course, not just on such a day). I’m left with a very sick heart feeling that poor/bad choices have a long-lasting consequence that, hopefully, will result in serious introspection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.