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Mendota Heights Motorcyclist Charged with Endangering Children

Police say Michael Bruce Johnson had a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old on his motorcycle with him when he was stopped last month, and that neither child was wearing a helmet.

A Mendota Heights man has been charged with endangering two young children by taking them for a ride on his motorcycle without helmets or footrests last month.

Michael Bruce Johnson, 44, is charged with child endangerment, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

According to the criminal complaint, a Mendota Heights officer on patrol spotted Johnson on his motorcycle just before 8:30 p.m. Aug. 3, with two “very small” children riding with him.

The officer began following Johnson, who was traveling north on Highway 13 “at a high rate of speed,” and stopped him, according to the complaint. He found a 3-year-old girl seated on the motorcycle in front of Johnson and a 5-year-old boy behind him.

Neither Johnson nor the children were wearing helmets, the officer noted. Additionally, there were no footrests for the child in front, and the child in back was too short to reach the footrests.

Minnesota law requires anyone 17 and younger on a motorcycle to wear protective headgear. There is no state law requiring helmets for adult motorcycle riders.

Johnson is scheduled to make a first appearance on the charge Oct. 1 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.

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