MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 51-year-old fugitive led U.S. Marshals and local agencies on a series of wrong-way chases Wednesday afternoon in Minnesota and Wisconsin — including a trip over the St. Croix River Bridge.
The United States Marshals Service says members of the North Star Fugitive Task Force and the Hennepin County Violent Offenders Task Force tried to arrest a man in Newport Wednesday afternoon, who is suspected of raping and robbing a woman in St. Louis Park earlier this month. He also is said to have threatened to kill police.
He fled officers in a black Ford F-350 truck, leading to a long chase involving several agencies in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
In the midst of the chase, the suspect began driving the wrong way in the westbound lanes of Highway 36, continuing onto the St. Croix River Bridge. His truck went into a ditch on STH 35/64, but he was able to free it before heading southbound on STH 35.
The chase continued into North Hudson and then Hudson, with the suspect traveling as fast as 70 miles per hour on city streets. The suspect hit stop sticks at one point, but was able to continue on. He eventually got on Interstate 94 and again drove against traffic before getting back on STH 35, where he also drove in the wrong direction. Law enforcement eventually performed a successful PIT maneuver on his truck — sending it into a disable and unoccupied vehicle on the side of the roadway just south of Tower Road near Hudson.
The suspect was injured in the crash, and was taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. His condition has not been released. He is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals.
St. Louis Park police say the suspect is accused of breaking into a woman’s home in the early morning of November 3, sexually assaulting her, then forcing her to withdraw cash for him at two metro ATMs. SLPPD is working with the Hennepin County Attorney’s office to file formal charges. He also has two felony arrest warrants from Ramsey County.