The motorized La-Z-Boy lounge chair that Proctor, Minn., police seized after its owner hit a parked vehicle is going up for auction on eBay today. But the chair was not the only item related to the incident open for bidding.
The family of the chair's former owner will put an autographed photo of Dennis LeRoy Anderson riding the chair on eBay.
"All proceeds will go to Dennis to help him with his fees," said Tim Jorgensen, Anderson's son-in-law.
Jorgensen and his wife, Andrea, have no hard feelings toward the Proctor police for seizing Anderson's motorized chair.
"I feel they did their job," Andrea Jorgensen said outside the Proctor Police Department this morning. "He shouldn't have been drinking and driving."
Andrea Jorgensen wanted people to know her father is a good person.
"He has had a hard time since Mom died five years ago," she said.
Proctor Police Chief Walter Wobig said that Anderson is a "super-nice guy."
Anderson pleaded guilty earlier this month in St. Louis County District Court to DWI in connection with an Aug. 31, 2008, incident in Proctor.
According to the criminal complaint, Anderson drove his motorized chair into a vehicle near a Proctor bar. His blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.29 percent, more than three times the legal limit to drive. There were no injuries in the incident.
Wobig said that the department had no choice but to seize the motorized chair. "We've seized ATVs, snowmobiles, trailers, cars and pickup trucks," he said. "We want to be fair and equitable to everybody. We can't show favoritism."
The chair, which is powered by a lawnmower engine, includes a stereo, cup holder, magazine holder and lights.
Since word of the incident spread earlier this month, the Proctor police have received calls from media outlets around the nation and as far away as Great Britain.
Wobig doesn't know how much the item may sell for. He said one man contacted him and said he was going to start the bidding off at $500. Wobig said that state statute determines how any money from the auction will be divided, with some going to the state, the court system and the police department.
Wobig plans on using the department's portion of the money to help equip two new squad cars.
The interest in the chair has taken Wobig by surprise.
"I've been in law enforcement 31 years and I've never seen anything like this," he said.