Gibbon man faces five charges after crash

NICOLLET COUNTY — A 34-year-old rural Gibbon man faces five charges including felony assault and felony property damage after a weekend road rage incident in and around St. George.

Nathan L. Helget, 64537 366th Street, Gibbon, was charged Tuesday with felony second-degree assault-dangerous weapon; felony first-degree damage to property; and misdemeanor reckless driving, driver involved fails to stop for collision and disorderly conduct. His bail was set at $50,000 without conditions and $5,000 with conditions.

According to court documents, a Nicollet County Deputy responded to a report of a hit-and-run crash on the Fort Road, east of St. George at 10:10 p.m., Feb. 5. At the scene, the deputy saw a red, Buick Le Sabre parked halfway in the lane of travel and halfway on the shoulder with heavy damage to the entire driver’s side. Both doors were caved in and black tire marks were found on the bottom halves of each door. The vehicle appeared to be leaking fluid near the rear driver’s side tire, where the car was caved into the frame.

The deputy talked to a victim who said he was leaving a farm site to head home when he turned south on CR 16, towards St. George and observed a truck northbound on CR 16. The victim said the truck passed him, then did a u-turn, and turned on his four-way flashers.

The victim said the truck followed close behind him all the way to St. George and stopped at the Fort Road stop sign. The victim said the male driver got out of his truck and came at his vehicle, so the victim got scared and continued east on the Fort Road.

The victim said the male threw something at his car because he heard a loud bang when it hit his car. The victim said the truck driver followed him closely again and at one point, threw a bottle at him, then rammed him from behind, then from the side twice.

The victim said the man came towards his car again and tried to open a car door but it didn’t open, so the man punched the car, yelled at the victim and sped off towards St. George.

A deputy talked with a person who called in the hit-and-run. The caller said he was sitting on his deck when he saw a vehicle coming towards St. George from the north with its flashers on. The caller said the two vehicles were so close, it looked like the pickup was pushing the car.

Then the caller heard banging sounds and saw the pickup driver run towards the car, then back to the pickup, then race out of town. The caller said he heard more banging sounds so he got his vehicle out of the garage and saw the pickup stopped at the Fort Road and 631st Street. The caller rolled down his window and the pickup driver told him to call 911.

Other deputies observed a red Chevy pickup drive into the New Ulm Kwik Trip and identified the driver as Helget, who admitted he rammed a car near St. George. The deputies saw substantial damage to the pickup bumper, front quarter panel, headlight, tire, and hubcap, plus red paint transfer on the passenger side. Tires were scuffed and matched tire rub marks on the victim’s driver’s side door.

Helget, whose demeanor was very hostile, said he rammed the car because he thought a guy was stalking him. Helget was arrested and placed in the back of a squad car. He constantly yelled at a deputy and continuously moved around in the backseat.

A Nicollet County District Court Rule 8 hearing for Helget was set for 11 a.m., Feb. 14.

Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at