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Criminal Charges Against Indian Motorcycles of the Twin Cities Owner are Dismissed

Art Welch, of Stillwater, chose to represent himself against property-damage allegations that were brought against him in May by the Washington County Attorney’s Office. The charges were dismissed before making it to a jury trial.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office has dismissed all criminal charges against Arturo Welch, the owner of Indian Motorcycles of the Twin Cities. 

Welch, of Stillwater, was charged by the Washington County Attorney’s Office in May with first-degree criminal damage to property after Laura Kristy Stevenson, 40, of Forest Lake, told police that he drove his vehicle into her garage door after she refused to meet him for a job interview.

Welch insists that never happened—and has maintained his innocence from the beginning.

Welch chose to represent himself against the allegations brought against him by the Washington County Attorney’s Office. The charges were dismissed before making it to a jury trial.

Imran Ali, a prosecutor with the Washington County Attorney’s Office, said he couldn’t comment on the case, because it is an active and ongoing investigation. Ali would not elaborate.

According to court records, Stevenson told police that Welch drove his truck into her garage door after she refused to open the door of her townhome to meet him for a job interview. The report was filed the day after the incident allegedly occurred.

During the investigation, police told Welch there was video footage of his vehicle at the scene—and a subsequent investigation led police to believe there was evidence that the hitch of his work truck caused the damage.

Welch says that’s impossible.

“I’ve never denied being there,” Welch said. “But I drove my smart car—not my truck—and I didn’t hit her garage.”

There are pictures in the police report that are not only black and white, but distort the image, Welch said, the pictures are blurry and do not give a true representation of any damage on the truck. 

“In fact, there is no damage on the truck,” he said. “The tow package on it not only did not have any kind of matching paint, but it is very visibly clear that the tow package is old and rusted and un-tampered with. There is no Indication of scraping or any damage of that nature. The only damage is rust.” 

But Stevenson’s allegations didn’t stop there.

Stevenson told police that she texted Welch about a job opening—at which time he responded to her inquiry with remarks insinuating “if she had sex with him or sent some ‘naughty or enticing’ pictures” he may consider giving her the job.

“First of all, there was never a job interview,” Welch said. “And if you look at the police report, it’s clear that the text messages she submitted to police were changed, modified and completely taken out of context. More than 90 percent of the conversation was left out.

“She lied to police,” Welch said.

According to the police report, Stevenson turned over all of the text messages as evidence in the case. , deleted or added to the conversation recorded in the police report.

Stevenson also didn’t tell police the two were involved in a past relationship, Welch said.

During the investigation, Welch said he asked Forest Lake Police Officer Lavalle if she would like to see his text messages to compare them to what police were given.

“Officer Lavelle told me she didn’t need to, because she’d already seen them,” Welch said. “Had she actually agreed to see them, this would all be a different story. Her refusal was her mistake.”

Johnny B. Good November 10, 2012 at 05:18 AM
Well this will definatly be a thorn in the side of the Indian Community Forum or, Iron Indians Riders Group (IIRG). They were all hoping that this guy would lose his business, and even slander him on their forum. Good Luck to you Art! You have one of the best dealerships around! Never let anything some of the idiots on that forum that bad mouth you bring you down. Rise higher than that!
james schoonover November 10, 2012 at 07:17 PM
sounds like the GOV. OFFICES on many levels need to go back to school, this is so wrong on so many levels , talk about injustice, THE PEOPLE should be up in arms , isn't there enough waste of OUR tax dollars with out this !!!!!!!!!!
Randy Marsh November 10, 2012 at 08:30 PM
How about prosecuting this woman if it can be proven she gave the authorities false information that led to charges?
Shawn Hogendorf November 10, 2012 at 09:22 PM
That may very well be why this is under investigation, Randy, but the attorney's office wouldn't confirm or deny anything while the case is active.
E. Anderson November 11, 2012 at 05:07 AM
This was obviously an attempt to tarnish this guy's business. What should be brought to the attention of the public, is that the owner of this establishment holds a great charity event every year to help out the local community. I agree, a huge waste of tax payers dollars. My assumption would be the ongoing investigation is in regards to her false report to the police. It sure made the officer look incompetent, by not doing the investigation properly.
Johnny B. Good November 12, 2012 at 04:26 AM
I think one of the key elements here, is that he chose to represent himself, and had the charges dismissed before he even went to trial. Certainly, there had to have been a good amount of evidence that he brought to the table to prove his innocence. Representing yourself is not an easy thing to do, and to get charges dismissed before it even goes to a jury trial, even harder.
Sandy Chris November 12, 2012 at 02:35 PM
The waste of taxpayer dollars continues in Washington County on a daily basis. The incompetence of this particular policewoman is only one instance. In the months to come, other police men and women will be shown to be just as incompetent and more money will be wasted. Defaming innocent people and ruining good businesses seems to be what Washington County and lying women are best at. The police only help the liars by adding to the lies and not doing a proper investigation. Racism is rampant and heaven forbid a person of color attempt to operate a business.
Art Welch November 12, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Thank you all for the support. I'm just glad its done and over with. Yes, there were many disparaging remarks that came from this, but it's expected. People are always quick to judge, and some never even try to hear the other side.... no one ever really gets the full story.... but thank you all for the positive notes.
darkrider November 13, 2012 at 01:36 AM
johnny b. good, not all on the IMC forum drink from the same glass. I post there daily and try to look at all things subjectively. I was very vocal about a time recently when Art went out of his way and took care of me and my Indian. I took some flak from the same 10 or so people that apperantly found a axe to grind at some point with Art, but I wasn't censored and for the most part was treated with respect. I can't speak for the IIRA or anyone in it, but my guess is that theres just a select few of those members that wish ill-will toward the Twin Cities Dealership. Congrats on taking this challenge head-on, Art! And thanks again for taking care of Indian riders in other states that you don't even know!
Johnny B. Good November 13, 2012 at 04:35 AM
You are correct. Not all are cut from the same cloth. I stopped going there because of the negatively, and bullying they do on that forum. They really ripped this guy to shreds over the first article that didn't give a lot of information. Posted it all over Facebook. I apologize sincerely if you are not one of the 10 or so people that you speak of. I am aware that there are a few that will not back down from the positive remarks they say.

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