Roseville police said the fatal chase began with a taillight violation.
Roseville police continue to investigate how a routine traffic stop started a chase that ended with the driver crashing his car and apparently drowning in an Arden Hills lake.
The man’s body was pulled from the water, about 50 feet from shore, late Saturday, but authorities were still working to find and notify his family Sunday night.
His name and a cause of death are expected to be released Monday, and investigators hope to piece together why he sped away from officers who tried to stop him because of a broken taillight.
Police officials were unavailable to discuss the investigation Sunday.
The incident began around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a Roseville police officer tried to pull the motorist over on Cleveland Avenue at Oakcrest Avenue for an equipment violation, according to a Roseville Police Department news release.
As the car sped north on Cleveland toward County Road E2, pursuing officers slowed down and lost sight of the vehicle at the T-intersection with County Road E2, about 3 miles from where the chase began. Officers soon discovered that the car had crashed into a wooded area north of the intersection and that the driver had fled.
They began a canine search that led to the south side of Ferrel’s Lake. Officers spotted the suspect in the lake, about 50 yards from shore. He responded to their commands to come back to shore by shouting expletives at them, the news release said.
When they noticed that the man was “having difficulty staying afloat … four Roseville police officers removed their duty belts, heavy vests and boots and swam to the area the suspect was last seen,” the release said. “Officers took turns diving and searching for the suspect in approximately 20 feet of muddy water.”
After five minutes of searching, the officers returned to shore and called for a water rescue unit.
About 10:15 p.m., the New Brighton and Lake Johanna Fire Department water rescue teams recovered the body, which was taken by ambulance to Hennepin County Medical Center, where the man was officially pronounced dead.
Police said the man’s vehicle didn’t have license plates and that he apparently had bought it just a few days ago. The vehicle was towed and will be examined as part of the department’s investigation.
David Chanen • 612-673-4465