Updated: 07/03/2014 5:14 PM
Created: 07/02/2014 6:39 AM KSTP.com
By: Jennie Olson
Bail as set at $200,000 for the father arrested after he wrecked a van Tuesday and fled the scene leaving his injured children behind has been charged with eight counts by Ramsey County prosecutors.
Forty-five-year-old Earl Lionell Ward of St. Paul is accused of four counts of criminal vehicular operation, two counts of child endangerment and two counts of violating a domestic abuse no contact order.
According to the criminal complaint, the mother of the children had been to a movie with her boyfriend, Ward, the father of the injured children. She reported that he had been drinking and that she "smelled crack cocaine."
On the drive home, the woman said she and Ward got into a verbal argument and she got out of the car. Ward then slid over to the driver’s seat, drove off and the woman said she heard a loud crash, the complaint states
The complaint said the woman found the car Ward was driving damaged and heard two of her children crying and screaming her name. She said Ward was gone, and her two children were seriously injured.
Eight-year-old Almond Ward-West, who loves wrestling, had a fractured femur and a severed artery, family members tell KSTP. The family also says 14-year-old Amarya Ward-West, who is an honor student, is not feeling her legs very much and is "fighting for her life," according to an aunt.
The mother said Ward had punched her, knocking out one of her teeth and strangled her in the last month. He’s also been convicted of two domestic violence-related incidents in the past year. Ward is also subject to two domestic abuse no contact orders, prohibiting him from contact with the mother.
Ward’s criminal history also includes 11 felony convictions.
Acting on a tip, police found the 45-year-old father at a relative's home in St. Paul and arrested him without incident Tuesday evening.
Ward’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 30.