Police: WCCO Viewer Tips Lead To Arrest Of Violent Criminal

EAGAN (WCCO) — WCCO-TV viewers helped police catch a violent criminal and send him to prison, following a police chase through Eagan where speeds passed a 100 mph.

“After your story aired, we got multiple tips,” said Eagan Police Chief Jim McDonald.

For several weeks, police didn’t know where convicted felon Charles Bryant was, after he crashed his car and ran following that chase last summer. Bryant had done prison time for burglary, assault and fleeing an officer.

When police officers asked him to step out of his car, after they pulled him over last July, he sped away. He crashed his car two miles later.

“It’s surprising anyone could live through that,” said McDonald.

His officers checked hospitals for Bryant, thinking he was badly hurt and needing luck, but they had no help.

So, police turned to WCCO for help. WCCO aired the initial story about the chase on Nov. 2, 2011.

“We could not have solved this case without the tips from your viewers,” McDonald said.

Police learned that Bryant was at a home off Logan Avenue North. Minneapolis Police arrested him during a traffic stop once he left.

Bryant pleaded guilty Monday to possessing cocaine, which police found in his car. He also pleaded guilty to illegally having a weapon and fleeing police.

McDonald said that this case is a great example of why police rely on the public for help.

“There are only so many cops. We can’t be everywhere. We don’t know everything. We rely heavily on what the public is telling us,” he said.

McDonald can’t stress enough just how important tips are for police. If someone has a hunch on a crime, or thinks police need to know about something important, he says that they should give police a call.

Bryant was a felon, and police considered him extremely dangerous. Police say he was desperate to get away after crashing, and they were desperate to find him.

“Myself, my partner put ourselves at risk that night,” recalled Officer Brian Rundquist about that chase.

Bryant will head to prison for five years, the end to his career as a criminal.

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