MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Law enforcement officials in central Minnesota spent the better part of Saturday night chasing a car theft suspect, whom they described as a “rather decent runner,” as he led them on a chase that involved two vehicles and trudging through snow and semi-frozen swampland.
The Chisago County Sheriff’s Office says the chase started at the Casey’s gas station in Taylors Falls, where a truck owner reported his vehicle stolen. The truck owner called 911 saying that he was outside his vehicle when a man jumped in the driver’s seat and drove off.
Deputies quickly found the truck and pursued it west out of Taylors Falls. Officers performed a PIT maneuver near the intersection of Lake Boulevard and Pleasant Valley Road, sending the the truck into a ditch. The suspect got out of the truck and ran, escaping the deputies. A perimeter was set up with the help of officers from several nearby agencies, but the suspect eluded them.
While the search was on, another 911 call came in from a woman who said that man showed up at her door out of breath, asking for a ride to the Hazelden Treatment Center campus in Center City. She gave the man a ride to the treatment center, but became suspicious when he ran off as they approached the main parking lot.
Officers set up another perimeter around the woods on the south side of the Hazelden campus. A police dog followed the man’s scent through the snowy woods and semi-frozen swampland and into a nearby farmstead. Officers found the suspect on top of a hay bale and told him he was under arrest.
When he tried to run again, the police dog, Stryker, caught him. As officers approached, the man began to fight back, the sheriff’s office said. Stryker was again set on the man “to protect his people.” Not long after, more officers arrived to apprehend the suspect.
The man, who refused to give officers his name, was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The sheriff’s office says he will be booked into the Chisago County Jail.