MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 28-year-old Fairbault woman used a key in her mouth to help free herself inside a squad car after she and a man led the officer on a high-speed pursuit in a stolen vehicle, according to charges filed in Dakota County.
Ariel Ann Beckman faces four felony counts that include receiving stolen property, fifth-degree controlled substance crime, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and attempted escape from custody in connection to the October 30 incident.
According to the criminal complaint, a law enforcement officer on routine patrol in Inver Grove Heights observed a gray Toyota pickup truck that was reported stolen in South St. Paul that day. After following the vehicle, the officer attempted a traffic stop but the vehicle fled.
During the pursuit, the vehicle reached speeds of 60 mph in residential areas, leaving the road at times, before the rear tires blew out crossing a railroad track. The vehicle came to a stop and the driver, identified as 35-year-old Robert Andrew David Gomez, and passenger, identified as Beckman, were then arrested.
After being transported to Dakota County Jail, the officer allowed the two to smoke a cigarette inside the squad car while arrest reports were being prepared. Gomez was seated in front due to an injury and Beckman was in back. Once the reports were completed, the officer removed the cigarette from Gomez’s hand. At that time, Beckman, no longer handcuffed, reached her hand out of the car window and opened the rear door.
Beckman then allegedly opened the driver seat of the squad car and put the car into drive. While the car was lurching forward, the officer quickly pulled the keys from the ignition, stopping the vehicle. Beckman continued to fight the officer for the key fob, but stopped when the officer threatened to use his Taser.
When jail staff arrived to assist, they informed the officer that Beckman has a history of removing her handcuffs in the past.
The officer also found a pipe in Beckman’s right boot that tested positive for a trace amount of methamphetamine. Beckman has a previous conviction of possession of drug paraphernalia in July 2017.
In a review of the squad video inside the vehicle, Beckman is seen turning to Gomez and saying “I have a key.” She then spit out the key into Gomez’s hand, who helped remove the handcuffs from her hands. Gomez then reached up to the camera and pulled out the wires, which shut off the recording.
Beckman could face up to five years in prison for each of two felony counts (stolen property and controlled substance) and up to 2.5 years per the two other charges.