MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 38-year-old Welch man is in jail after he led police on a chase through Red Wing early Thursday morning and jumped from a bridge into the Mississippi River.
Chief Tim Sletten said an officer pulled over Daniel Donno for speeding around 1:55 a.m. near the intersection of Highway 61 and Green Spring Road. But as the officer approached Donno’s car, he sped off, heading north on Highway 61. It later became apparent that the car Donno was driving had been stolen.
Police gave chase, following Donno onto the Prairie Island reservation. Sletten said police tried to stop Donno’s car with stop sticks, which deflate tires, but both attempts failed.
Police chased Donno through Baypoint Park, downtown Red Wing and onto the Highway 63 bridge, which leads into Wisconsin. When Donno was on the bridge, police called off the pursuit.
However, Donno – “for an unknown reason” — decided to stop on the bridge. He then got out of his car and jumped off the bridge, into the Mississippi River below, Sletten said.
Police could see him in the water and called Goodhue County Water Patrol for help. The patrol found him, but he refused to get inside a boat.
In response, the patrol surrounded Donno with two boats and, with the assistance of many officers, managed to get him into a boat.
Officers took Donno ashore, brought him to a hospital and then booked him into the Goodhue County Jail on suspicion of the five following charges: fleeing police, speeding, reckless driving, disobeying a stop sign, and car theft.
Police checked with the victim whose car had been stolen; the victim was not aware of the theft, Sletten said.