Man dead, woman hurt when their pickup is hit by suspect fleeing in Crookston squad car

  • Article by: PAMELA MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 3, 2011 - 9:57 PM

The suspect, who was injured in the crash, was fleeing after being shot with a stun gun and pepper-sprayed by officers.

A man was killed and a woman injured Saturday afternoon in Crookston, Minn., when their pickup was struck by a suspect who'd stolen a Crookston police car after a confrontation with police in which he'd been shot with a stun gun and pepper-sprayed to no avail, authorities said Saturday night.

The bizarre drama opened just after 2 p.m. on N. Main Street in the northwestern Minnesota town, said Crookston Police Chief Tim Motherway. Officers summoned there on a report that people were pounding on cars, demanding money and making threats approached one suspect, a 23-year-old Crookston man who ignored them and went into a nearby bar called the Crooks Club.

When officers followed him inside, "a fight ensued," Motherway said. In an attempt to subdue the suspect, they shot him with a stun gun, "which had no apparent effect, then pepper-sprayed him, which also had no effect," he said.

The pepper spray, did, however, impair the officers, and as they struggled to regain their footing and vision, he ran outside and commandeered their squad car.

Six blocks away, as he sped south on S. Main Street, he crossed the center line and broadsided a pickup, killing the male driver and injuring a woman.

The suspect was able to get out of the squad car and ask a passerby to take him to Riverview Hospital emergency room, where he was arrested, Motherway said.

The suspect and the woman were both hospitalized Saturday night, both with noncritical injuries, the chief said.

Although the officers disabled by the chemical spray were not at the crash site, other emergency responders quickly arrived at the scene, which was near the Crookston Fire Department, Motherway said.

As for the suspect's state, "we think he had to have been on some kind of controlled substance to have been so little affected" by the stun gun and the pepper spray, Motherway said.

The names of the victims will be released Sunday, he said. The suspect's name has been released, but the Star Tribune generally does not name suspects who have not been charged.

Pamela Miller • 612-673-4290

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