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Charges: Man Stole Squad, Caused Fatal Crash

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CROOKSTON, Minn. (AP) – A 23-year-old Crookston man has been charged with stealing a police cruiser and causing a fatal crash.

Police say officers went to talk to Ricardo Mello and a 42-year-old man Saturday following complaints that they’d been threatening people and damaging cars.

The other man stopped, but Mello allegedly fought officers. Police say despite being shot with a stun gun and pepper spray, Mello stole the cruiser.

He drove at high speed for about five blocks before striking a pickup.

Seventy-eight-year-old Eddie Briggs, of Thief River Falls, was killed and his 57-year-old wife Patricia Briggs was taken to a hospital.

The Grand Forks Herald reports Mello is charged with second degree murder, motor vehicle theft and criminal vehicle homicide, among other charges. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Nov. 21.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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