Driver accused of hitting two tow truck workers on the highway arrested after dad calls police

Police arrested a man accused of injuring two tow truck crew workers in a hit-and-run on I-35 early Monday morning in Rice County.

Marlon Fleming, 39-years-old, faces charges of criminal vehicular operation and leaving the scene of a collision, according to a criminal complaint.

A state trooper responded to reports of a rollover crash on I-35 near milepost 74 just before 11 p.m. Sunday night. The trooper then parked behind a wrecker from Glen’s Towing Service with emergency warning lights activated while crew members worked to clear the wreckage, according to the complaint. The trooper then saw a dark-colored car come within inches of hitting his squad car and then strike the two tow truck workers, who were getting gear from the passenger side of the wrecker. One of the men suffered a dislocated ankle, torn calf muscle and tendon, a concussion, and various scrapes and bruising. The other man suffered a sprained ankle, scrapes, and bruising. Both were taken to the hospital.

Just after 10:30 p.m. on Monday, May 16, Marlon Fleming’s father called law enforcement and said that his son was the one who struck the tow truck operators, court records show. The father detailed that his son had taken a black Lincoln MKZ the night before. When the father found that the car was gone at about 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, he called his son and told him to bring the car back. Marlon’s dad told law enforcement that his son sounded drunk and belligerent during the phone call, according to the complaint. When Marlon Fleming arrived at about 1:30 a.m., there was visible damage to the MKZ that was previously not there. The damage and missing parts matched the debris left at the scene of the crash, and blue jean strands were found in the door handle, the complaint states.

Marlon Fleming was arrested by Lakeville police and taken to the Rice County Jail. He was then taken to the hospital to be medically cleared for jail due to his level of impairment, according to the complaint. While at the hospital, Fleming reportedly said, “I will say this though, I did not hit those people, I did not. Maybe I sideswiped the truck or trailer, but the people, no, I did not do that at all.” He later contradicted himself, saying, “My father told me that story today, about two guys hit on 35W, and I was like ‘No that was not me,’ and then I kinda started thinking about it, I was like ‘Oh my god, that probably was me,’ and I felt like s***,” the complaint says.

According to the criminal complaint, during the trip back to jail, Fleming said to the state trooper, who was the same one who was at the scene of the crash, “When I was on my phone, I looked up, that’s when I saw you, and I kinda swerved over, I apologize for that.”

Fleming’s next court appearance is scheduled for May 25, 2022.