Man arrested after police chase on Lakewalk, through Canal Park
A Farmington, Minn., man was arrested Monday afternoon after a 20-minute chase that ranged from Interstate 35 to the Lakewalk. The suspect, who was arrested for fleeing an officer -- a felony -- and for second-degree driving under the influence o...
A Farmington, Minn., man was arrested Monday afternoon after a 20-minute chase that ranged from Interstate 35 to the Lakewalk.
The suspect, who was arrested for fleeing an officer -- a felony -- and for second-degree driving under the influence of alcohol, fled from Minnesota State Patrol and Duluth police officers, said State Patrol Capt. Ken Matthews of the Duluth district. A report of an erratic driver was called in shortly before 4 p.m., northbound of Boundary Avenue, and a state trooper located the vehicle, a black Jeep, on I-35 near 40th Avenue West, Matthews said.
The vehicle led authorities onto the Lakewalk via 21st Avenue East.
"Our troopers followed and Duluth officers followed ... we're the only warning devices they've [Lakewalk pedestrians] got with the lights and sirens," Matthews said.
The vehicles, which Matthews said weren't driving fast, left the Lakewalk without incident, and chased the Jeep through Canal Park. One state patrol car attempted to stop the car in a parking lot but was unsuccessful, Matthews said. The suspect crashed into a snowbank and fled his vehicle, and he was apprehended shortly after that in the Omnimax Theatre. A preliminary breath test showed he was under the influence of alcohol and over the legal limit to drive, Matthews said.
"This was a bad situation," he said. "You've got a drunk driver that's obviously risking everybody's life. You make a decision to go down a pedestrian walk in a tourist area? That's really criminal."
One squad car was damaged in the chase, and Matthews said the techniques used by officers to stop the car were done in a safe, controlled way.
Duluth resident David Sorenson was near Canal Park waiting to pick up his wife from work when he saw squad cars and the Jeep coming down the Lakewalk. He said the cars took off toward Canal Park while he was waiting at a stop light. The "whole parade"
doubled back, he said, and the fleeing vehicle almost hit him.
"They went into the Endion parking lot ... and I later noticed several parking meters down," Sorenson said. "A lot happened in a couple of minutes."