MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 26-year-old Burnsville motorcyclist faces charges after he allegedly led a police officer on a short chase at speeds reaching 115 mph, according to the Dakota County Attorney’s Office.
On June 26 at around 6 a.m., an officer driving a fully marked squad car was traveling southbound on Interstate 35W in Burnsville when he was passed by the motorcyclist. The officer estimated that the motorcycle was traveling over 100 mph, according to the criminal complaint.
The officer then activated his lights and siren and tried catching up to the driver, but he continued to accelerate away from the squad car. The motorcyclist was seen passing a pickup truck by driving onto the left shoulder.
The motorcyclist eventually drove onto an exit ramp and pulled over to the side after getting stuck behind two slower vehicles.
The motorcyclist, identified as Michael Ernest Rindahl, Jr., then admitted to reaching speeds of 115 mph and that his driving was careless. He said he first noticed the squad car behind him when he reached the exit ramp, but later said he saw the officer just north of County Road 42. He again changed his story and said he saw the squad car north of CR 42, but that he thought it was a regular passenger car.
The officer said that during the pursuit, he could see that the motorcycle had side mirrors on both sides and that Rindahl looked over his shoulder at the officer several times during the pursuit.
Rindahl now faces one felony count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, one misdemeanor charge of reckless driving and one misdemeanor charge of careless driving.
If convicted, Rindahl could face up to 3 years in prison and/or a maximum fine of $5,000 for his felony charge and up to 90 days per misdemeanor charge.