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Man charged with robbing Northfield hotel, shooting at police

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • December 5, 2012 - 8:07 PM

Charges have been filed against a 27-year-old man suspected of holding up a hotel in Northfield and then shooting at police on his trail.

Eric W. Forcier, of Farmington, and his ex-girlfriend, Julie Ann Campana, 23, of Apple Valley, were charged in federal court in St. Paul with interfering with commerce and use of a firearm during a violent crime in the robbery of the hotel. Forcier was also charged Monday with being a felon in possession of a firearm during the late-night stickup of the Americas Best Value Inn on Oct. 29.

According to the indictment, Forcier and Campana robbed the hotel of about $100 in cash, coins and three cordless phones. Campana is accused of being Forcier's getaway driver.

According to police:

A hotel clerk called police at 2:47 a.m. and said the hotel on Hwy. 3, south of downtown, had been robbed by a masked man with a handgun.

Police stopped Forcier's vehicle about 3 a.m. Forcier fled on foot from the car to nearby woods, allegedly firing several times at officers and missing.

After an eight-hour search, a police dog and an officer tracked Forcier to a trucking company plant. The officer checked parked vehicles and noticed a blanket moving in the back of a pickup truck. Drawing his gun, the officer ordered Forcier -- in wet clothes and bundled in a blanket with temperatures in the low 30s -- to climb out. Forcier had crossed the Cannon River after fleeing, police say.

He was arrested, as was Campana, who had been driving the car.

Forcier's criminal history includes convictions in Dakota County for second-degree drug possession and possession of stolen property in 2008. In 2007, Forcier was convicted of fifth-degree drug possession and fleeing police in a motor vehicle.

 

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