MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A 30-year-old man faces charges in connection to the sexual assault of his ex-girlfriend in St. Paul and a police chase that ended with him crashing his car in Eagan early Thursday morning, according to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office.
Alec Erling Neal, of Minneapolis, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, first-degree burglary and fleeing a police officer.
According to the criminal complaint, St. Paul police were dispatched on Feb. 19 at 12:10 a.m. to the 500 block of Summit Avenue on the report of a stabbing. When they arrived, officers met the victim, who was shaking and crying with a laceration on her left hand. She told police her ex-boyfriend, identified as Neal, raped her and cut her with a knife.
The victim told police that she had broken up with Neal at the beginning of the year and that he had made suicidal comments after the relationship ended. He had also been in the Mental Health Unit at the Hennepin County Medical Center from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12, and she had visited while he was there.
Then, on Feb. 14, she said she found a typewritten note on her apartment door that read, "Now that you're single, we should f—k." She believed it came from Neal.
On Feb. 18, she returned from a trip to Mexico and after having a conversation with a friend, she went to bed. At 11:30 p.m., she woke up and saw Neal, who was naked, sitting next to her on her bed holding a serrated slicing knife from her kitchen. He then held the knife to her throat and raped her in the bedroom and again in the living room, the complaint said.
The victim said she was able to escape when Neal told her to put her clothes on. She said she went through a door in her closet that exited to a common hallway. While she was running away, however, Neal slashed at her with the knife, cutting her left hand. She was then able to find refuge in her neighbors' apartment and call 911.
When police entered the apartment, they saw the bedroom sheets in disarray, a kitchen knife in the bedding and a roll of duct tape that appeared to be brand-new in its packaging on the floor in the hallway. They also found the note, which was ripped up, in the garbage.
Later at the hospital, the victim received a call from Neal, who asked if she had called police. At the direction of police, she told him she had not and told him she was still at home. She then said he should come back and she was fine, but Neal continued to say "They are going to arrest me and I'm going to jail!" During the conversation, Neal told the victim that he had been hiding in her apartment.
After tracing Neal's calls to the victim, police put out an alert to the Minnesota State Patrol saying he may be traveling north on Interstate 35W. Lakeville police soon spotted the vehicle and began pursuit, taking police north on I-35W into Minneapolis and then back down on Highway 55 to Eagan. Eagan police joined the pursuit on Highway 55 and Highway 13. Meanwhile, Neal's vehicle was traveling at a very high speed, from 80 to 110 miles per hour. The pursuit then went southbound on Highway 13 to southbound Cedar Avenue. After running two red lights on Cedar, Neal's vehicle made a U-turn at 147th Street and went northbound on Cedar.
The police chase ended when Apple Valley police put out stop sticks, which Neal's vehicle struck. His car then lost a tire near Cliff Road, lost control, struck a barrier underneath Cedar, spun out and ended up in a ditch just north of Cliff Bridge on Cedar.
Police then arrested the driver of the vehicle and identified him as Neal. They located additional rolls of duct tape in his vehicle, the complaint said.
In a post-Miranda interview, Neal said he wished to remain silent.
Medical records confirmed the laceration to the victim's hand and it was determined she had vaginal injuries consisting of abrasions and redness.
If convicted of his charges, Neal could face up to 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine on just the criminal sexual conduct charge alone.
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