Six people suffered minor injuries in a collision in northeast Minneapolis at midday Monday, which followed a brief police chase that wove through north and northeast Minneapolis before being called off for safety reasons.
Three of the injured were in the suspect vehicle and were arrested, according to police spokesman John Elder.
The pursuit began about 12:10 p.m. as officers tried to pull over the vehicle, described as a brown or purple Ford Crown Victoria, for "erratic driving," according to Elder and police scanner audio. Instead, the vehicle sped off, heading eastbound on 6th Avenue N. before crossing over the Lowry Avenue Bridge into northeast Minneapolis, according to the transmissions.
Officers called off the chase shortly after crossing into the northeast Second Precinct. Moments later, the suspect vehicle crashed head-on into a green minivan near the intersection of NE. 17th and University avenues. The minivan in turn careened into a pickup truck, Elder said. Two people in the minivan suffered noncritical injuries, as did the pickup driver, he said.
"Pursuit was terminated for over a minute before this crash happened," he said. "The officers actually were already en route back to their own precinct to brief their sergeants on what happened."
Ambulances were summoned to the scene to transport at least two victims to the hospital, according to dispatchers, and firefighters also were called to help remove someone from a vehicle.
During the chase, one of the pursuing officers said over the radio that he thought he saw three men in the fleeing vehicle; the two passengers were taken into custody at the scene of the crash, while the driver was arrested a short time later after fleeing on foot, Elder said.
Police said that the suspected driver had a small amount of methamphetamine on him when he was arrested.
"We obviously haven't tested it yet, but it may help explain some of his reckless and erratic driving," Elder said.
The department's chase policy has come under fire after a series of high-profile crashes in recent months, some involving outside law enforcement agencies. Elder said that most pursuits are terminated by officers due to factors like poor road conditions or heavy traffic along the chase route.