MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A top-secret Bowl wrapped up as Super Bowl events kicked off. U.S. Marshals conducted Operation Frozen Bowl, a round-up of violent fugitives in the Twin Cities ahead of the big game.
Deputy U.S. Marshals worked behind the scenes to arrest wanted people in an effort to keep thousands of visitors to Minnesota safe for the big game. WCCO’s Jennifer Mayerle and photojournalist Tom Aviles were the only crew with an all-access pass.
“We’re getting set up to go up and knock on this address, see if the fugitive’s there,” Deputy U.S. Marshal Trent Lunstrum.
Deputy U.S. Marshals get in place, and then they move in. The intensive op is aimed at arresting suspected criminals who are on the run.
“With the upcoming Super Bowl that’s going to be happening right now we’re trying to target the violent offenders in the area, get them apprehended before the event comes around. We like to try and minimize the amount of potential criminal activity that could go on during such a big event,” Lunstrum said.
Offenses range from terroristic threats to aggravated assault and robbery to rape and murder.
Marshals admit people who know they’re wanted are more likely to run and that can be dangerous during a major event.
“That just creates more traffic, more people and then you have a greater risk for somebody to get hurt,” Lunstrum said.
Each arrest is different. The goal is to make the arrest with little fanfare.
“We work up these individuals as much as we possibly can to find out as much about their own personal life for the safety of them, the safety of their own families and safety of all the law enforcement,” Lunstrum said.
Sometimes they have to quickly make a move. The team started tailing a fugitive and when he sped up decided to surround him.
“Two occupants, two occupants,” Lundstrum yelled to other Deputy U.S. Marshals. “Step out, step out of the car, step back towards me, step back towards me. Put your hands up on the car, put your hands up on the car,” as he made the arrest.
It took another suspected criminal off the street ahead of the big game.
Operation Frozen Bowl was a joint-effort with local law enforcement partners. In all, they captured more than 70 fugitives during the two and a half week operation.