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Man Arrested After Fleeing Police, Fighting With Officers In Northern Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A man is in custody after allegedly fleeing officers Friday in northern Minnesota, threatening them with a screwdriver and fighting them as they worked to place him in handcuffs.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says that the two officers involved in the encounter would have been justified in using deadly force but they opted for less-lethal tactics to bring the man into custody.

According to the sheriff's office, the incident started just after midnight in Kugler Township, just south of Tower. A sheriff's deputy stopped a truck for suspicious behavior, and as the deputy was getting out of his squad car, the truck backed up into his vehicle and sped off.

The deputy gave chase, trying to stop the truck with several PIT maneuvers, which were not successful.

An officer from the Babbitt Police Department assisted the deputy, dropping stop sticks on Highway 21 to blowout the truck's front tires. Still, the truck continued driving for about a half-mile on flat tires before the deputy used a slow-moving PIT maneuver to stop the truck.

The driver, later identified as a 47-year-old man, got out of the truck at the edge of the highway. In his hand was a screwdriver, which he was holding like a weapon, the sheriff's office says.

The man stepped towards the officers, who commanded him to drop the screwdriver. Even as the officers pointed guns at the man, he continued to move toward them. At some point, the Babbitt officer fired his stun gun at the man, and he fell into the ditch.

The officers tried to handcuff the man, but he struggled with the officers, grabbing at the deputy's gun and headbutting the Babbitt officer. Only after more officers arrived on the scene were law enforcement able to take the man into custody.

Following the struggle, the deputy was treated for an injury to his hand, the sheriff's office says. The suspect also received medical treatment and was released from a hospital without incident.

The suspect was booked into jail on several charges, including fleeing police, assault, damage to property, obstruction with force, DWI, and reckless driving. The sheriff's office says the man was using a law enforcement scanner on his phone and was driving with a revoked license.

WCCO-TV does not typically name suspects until they've been formally charged.


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