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Colorado man charged in boat accident that injured girlfriend

BEMIDJI -- A Denver, Colo., man is being held on $5,000 bail after he allegedly ran over his girlfriend with a boat while intoxicated Tuesday afternoon.

Lee Pratt Zitzer, 22, was charged Thursday with one count of operating a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more. The charge stems from Pratt’s operation of a boat on Movil Lake on Tuesday, which ended with his girlfriend, whose name, age and condition were not released, falling from the front of the vessel, eventually being struck by the propeller.

In the criminal complaint filed by the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office, the injury to Zitzer’s girlfriend is described in gruesome detail. She required surgery to repair a wound that was “approximately 12-inches long and (four to five) inches wide” extending from her “groin area down to her kneecap” on her right thigh, the complaint stated.

Police were called just before 4 p.m. Tuesday to 12805 Arcadia Court NE in Turtle Lake Township. When they arrived, they found Zitzer’s girlfriend with the gash on her thigh, and another “propeller wound” on her right shoulder. Several people were applying pressure to the wounds, according to the complaint.

Police found alcohol bottles in the boat, and said Zitzer was “speaking with a thick tongue.” Zitzer’s girlfriend, according to the complaint, fell from the front of the boat and was struck by the propeller as the vessel ran over her.

After initially being told by another man at the scene that he had been driving the boat, police learned from witnesses that the man had been on shore when Zitzer’s girlfriend was run over. That man eventually admitted that it was Zitzer who had been operating the vessel when the woman fell over.

Zitzer had a blood alcohol concentration of .099, according to police. He is next scheduled to appear in court Monday. The charge he faces carries a maximum penalty of three years in jail, a $10,000 fine or both. As of 3:45 p.m. Thursday, Pratt was no longer listed as being in custody at the Beltrami County Jail.