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Ottertail Hummer driver faces felony charge in NDSU vandalism

Jason John Stowers

An Ottertail 37-year-old drove his yellow Hummer across the North Dakota State University campus on Thursday, hitting numerous objects as he fended off students who tried to pull him from the driver's seat, police said.

Jason John Stowers was charged with felony reckless endangerment in connection with the incident, which happened the same night as the John Mayer concert at the Fargodome.

"That was a little scary," said William Vandal, chief of NDSU University Police.

When NDSU police found the Hummer, it was heading from a campus sidewalk east across University Drive, according to a police report in the charges filed on Friday in Cass County District Court.

Students were running beside the Hummer trying to open the driver's door as others attempted to stop the heavy concert traffic on University Drive, according to the police report.

The driver-side airbag was deployed, and a driver who authorities say was Stowers seemed "lethargic and confused" behind the wheel, according to police.

After arresting Stowers, police traced his tracks and allege that he hit at least two poles, two trees, steps of a pavilion near the Memorial Union and a 9/11 commemorative plaque.

As he drove across a plaza area east of the MU, Stowers was swinging at students who were trying to pull him out of his Hummer, police said. Earlier, he hit a large tree and got out of his vehicle to encourage witnesses to get inside the Hummer so they "could all get away," police said.

The police report in court records said field sobriety tests were performed but didn't state the results of a preliminary breath test.

A listed phone number for Stowers could not be found. He was taken to the Cass County Jail before bailing out Friday on a $5,000 bond.

Vandal said there was no indication in the reports if Stowers had been at the concert. The call came in at 10:13 p.m., about an hour before Mayer left stage.

"It doesn't mean he didn't leave early," Vandal said.

Vandal said an estimate of the damages caused was not available yet.