A 30-year-old Minnesota man accused of taking a teenage runaway to at least three other states and running over her father in Dubuque tells his side of the story, and says he did it for love.
Andrew Herbsleb says he took Kaylynn Cerqua from her home in Milaca, Minnesota to Illinois and then picked her up again at a Dubuque truckstop and ran away with her, out of love. After the girl was picked up in June following an altercation with police in Savanna, Illinois, Cerqua’s father and grandfather came to pick her up. When they stopped for gas in Dubuque, the girl ran from them and got into Herbsleb’s car, which had been following them.
Herbsleb says the girl “has everything to live for,” but was in a predicament that was “beating her down.” He says it was making it her a bad person but he saw the better person in her. Herbsleb says he didn’t mean to run over the teen’s father when she ran from his custody and got into Herbsleb’s vehicle at a Dubuque truck stop on June 25. They were trying to take her out of the car when he says the father “looked in my eyes and told me he was going to kill me, and that’s when I snapped.”
He says he forced the man out of his car and drove away. The father was dragged a short distance by the car and was injured, but Herbsleb says he didn’t intend that to happen. The father was treated and released from a Dubuque hospital that day, and Herbsleb and 16-year-old Kaylynn Cerqua were taken into custody by police in Wausau, Wisconsin, last Sunday when officers responded to a rowdy gathering and discovered there was a warrant out for the man. He’ll face attempted murder charges in Dubuque. The girl’s family was called to take her home again.