A fugitive’s sport-utility vehicle tore through the streets of a northeast Minneapolis neighborhood on Wednesday during a brief but wild law enforcement pursuit, barely missing frightened drivers and sideswiping parked cars and a Metro Transit bus before it crashed into a snowbank.
Jessen Como, who works in the area, said he saw “a car speeding down the road and multiple police cars behind.” Moments later, two SWAT-style vehicles headed in the same direction, Como said.
Buck Otto White, 48, of New Ulm, Minn., who has a history of burglary and illegal gun possession, was arrested after he crashed near Como and 33rd Avenues SE., about 4 miles from where he was first spotted. Apparently unharmed, he fled but was quickly captured by the deputies with the U.S. Marshals Service and Minneapolis police officers, authorities said.
Although a witness said at least one plainclothes marshal fired at White’s car, federal authorities would not comment, and Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder said such details were not available because the case remains under investigation. It remained unclear whether White fired back.
Elder said White was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, examined by doctors and is “fine.”
White, also known as Timothy Joseph Hoffman, has a criminal record going back to 1984 that includes burglary and assault in three Minnesota counties. He was more recently caught with four guns, including two shotguns and a rifle, and federally charged in February 2013 with being an armed career criminal in possession of a firearm.
Terms of his release in July on an unsecured bond of $25,000 required that he remain at the Twin Town Treatment Center in St. Paul unless he was given permission to leave. He fled in July, generating the federal warrant that led to Wednesday’s arrest.
Cars and bullets flying
Witnesses described White sideswiping cars and a Route 3 Metro Transit bus and driving straight at a roadblock set up near the intersection of Marshall Street and 16th Avenue NE.
A person manning the roadblock, believed to be an undercover deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service, fired at White’s vehicle as it approached, said witness Joshua Madison, who lives near the chase route.
He “shot at him like four times,” said Madison, saying the shots broke windows on White’s SUV but did not stop it.
A bullet hole was visible in the SUV’s windshield on the passenger side as it was being towed away from Como Avenue SE.
The passengers on the bus, which sustained some damage, were not hurt. They were put on another bus that took them to their destinations.