A Minnesota state trooper who was assaulted Thursday on Interstate 90 in southern Minnesota, allegedly by two suspects who then fled police, was released from an Albert Lea hospital Friday.
Meanwhile, the suspects, two men in their 20s from Milwaukee, remained jailed in Faribault County, where they are likely to be charged Monday with felony assault and drug possession charges, authorities said.
After allegedly assaulting trooper Doug Rauenhorst during a traffic stop, then fleeing, the two threw several bricks and bags of marijuana out the window as they led authorities on a high-speed chase before being arrested in Albert Lea.
Witnesses saw the suspects toss “alarmingly huge amounts” of weed from a Jeep with California plates as it sped down Bridge Street into downtown Albert Lea, where authorities arrested the two “laying low” in a tavern, said J.D. Carlson, Albert Lea’s director of public safety.
Rauenhorst, who was released from United Hospital in Albert Lea on Friday, has been with the State Patrol for 22 years, authorities said.
About 1 p.m. Thursday, a call came in about Rauenhorst being assaulted while making a traffic stop east of Blue Earth and west of Hwy. 254 in Faribault County.
The suspects then led officers on a pursuit through Faribault and Freeborn counties at speeds reaching 130 mph. They raced along highways, county roads and at times even went off the road, according to dispatch audio.
Albert Lea police were waiting for the suspects as they approached the city in hopes of keeping them out of the community of about 18,000.
The suspects cut through medians on I-90 and were spotted pitching bundles of marijuana out the window before exiting on Hwy. 13. They got right back on I-90 and headed to the next Albert Lea exit, Bridge Street, Carlson said.
As the suspects entered the city, the pursuit was called off. The pair jettisoned even more bundles of marijuana from their vehicle as they sped down Bridge Street, with some landing at intersections not far from two elementary schools, Carlson said.
“There were five good-sized bundles or bags,” Carlson said. “We were concerned the kids could get to it, but we recovered it quickly.”
Police also recovered three bundles along I-90, he added.
The suspects ditched their vehicle behind a furniture store and took refuge in the Sportsman’s Tavern on Clark Street. Officers had set up a perimeter and were about to begin a business-to-business search for the suspects when a woman stepped out of the tavern and the suspects followed her, Carlson said.
The suspects were arrested without incident, he said.