ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — An 18-year-old St. Paul man fleeing police crashed into a Toyota Thursday evening, causing the car’s driver to bleed from the brain and liver.
Police had pulled over Jason Lionel-Wayne Gatrell around 10:45 p.m. for driving without headlights, but the stop turned into a high-speed pursuit through the streets of St. Paul.READ MORE: Clean Car Debate At Minnesota Capitol May Lead To Summer Closures Of State Parks, Trails
Gatrell had gained two blocks on the pursuing squad car when he slammed into the Toyota Corolla in the intersection of Thomas and Lexington avenues, bringing fire and chaos to a quiet street.
Three-foot flames erupted from the engine of the Deville.
Gatrell’s Cadillac Deville careened off the Corolla and into a power pole, downing and setting on fire power lines on both sides of Lexington. Xcel Energy cut power in the area to make it safe for emergency workers.
The 19-year-old Corolla driver suffered a broken clavicle and a concussion, in addition to the bleeding from his liver and brain. He’s expected to survive.READ MORE: Marietta's Salt Lake Is A Paradise For Birds And Bird Watchers
One police officer pursuing Gatrell on foot heard him zigzag through yards and jump over fences, but the officer was “struck by something,” according to the criminal complaint, and suffered a concussion himself.
Canines and other police officers eventually cornered Gatrell hiding behind a chimney on the roof of a home. A homeowner said he had frightened her by trying to get inside the home.
Police eventually talked Gatrell down from the roof. They said he appeared to be under the influence.
He has been charged with one count of criminal vehicular operation and one count of fleeing a police officer.MORE NEWS: COVID In MN: Gov. Walz To Announce On Thursday His Timeline To End All Restrictions
If convicted, he faces up to seven years behind bars or a $14,000 fine.