MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Newly-released dash camera video from the Hudson Police Department shows a different vantage point of the wrong-way pursuit that ended in a crash in Wisconsin Wednesday.
The chase started in Newport after the U.S. Marshals Service tried to arrest 51-year-old fugitive Jeffrey Groves. The chase ended near Hudson, Wisconsin, when officers used a PIT maneuver on Groves’s truck, causing him to crash into an unoccupied vehicle. He is in critical condition at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
It started when authorities tried to arrest Groves, who was charged Thursday with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, felony kidnapping and first-degree burglary.
Charging documents say on the early morning of November 3, Groves broke into an elderly woman’s home where he had worked before as a handyman. He then repeatedly raped and assaulted her over the course of several hours, all while under the influence of methamphetamine. He stole $400 in cash from inside her residence before driving her to two ATM machines, where he stole another $800 in cash from her.
During the police pursuit Wednesday, the main bed of Groves’s pickup truck detached from the rest of the smoking vehicle after he crashed into an empty car on the side of road. Authorities put down stop sticks in Hudson, which the suspect then drove over before continuing on. At one point, the driver zoomed past WCCO photojournalist Lewis Karpel on Highway 36 near Minneapolis. Karpel said cars were moving out of the way, not knowing why the driver was going the wrong direction.
“I had probably three seconds worth of ‘He’s coming at me!’ And then he’s past me,” Karpel said. “When I saw the helicopter video and you saw the cab split away from the frame of the vehicle, you really realize the weight of the situation.”
The suspect has four felony warrants out for his arrest in Ramsey County. He’s accused of violating a protection order and receiving stolen property, among other things. He also has a lengthy criminal record that includes convictions for domestic assault and a number of driving offenses.
He faces up to 70 years in prison if convicted on all charges.