ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) -- A police pursuit of a stolen vehicle came to a chaotic end just outside the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul Wednesday evening. Police say four boys, ages ranging from 12 to 15, were arrested in the incident, but officials are looking for one more possible suspect.
According to police, the series of events began at 7:20 p.m. when a St. Paul police officer at Blair and Western avenues observed a vehicle known to have been stolen out of St. Paul. The officer said it was being driven recklessly, and "teenage passengers were hanging out of the windows."
"He attempted to stop that vehicle and the vehicle fled. He didn't pursue but thankfully the State Patrol had the helicopter up," St. Paul Police's Steve Linders said.
The driver of the vehicle fled the officer when a traffic stop was attempted. The officer did not pursue, but a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter was up and tracking the vehicle. Police say the stolen vehicle was soon joined by another motorist in a vehicle stolen out of Edina.
Both vehicles were being driven to Woodbury. At one point, the first vehicle drove over stop sticks, and three young people jumped out and into the second vehicle.
The second vehicle was driven back into St. Paul.
"They were barreling down University, switching lanes on the wrong side of the road," Linders said.
As the vehicle approached the State Capitol, the motorist rammed the back of a marked St. Paul police squad near University Avenue and Park Street, police said. The police officer did not report injuries, but police said the car was going around 40 mph when the collision happened.
After ramming the squad, the motorist in the stolen vehicle drove to a nearby parking lot outside the Capitol and crashed, according to police.
Four boys jumped out of the vehicle and ran. Three boys attempted to hide in a portable toilet, but were observed by those in the State Patrol helicopter, and were soon arrested.
The driver fled into a building, but was quickly taken into custody, police said. He is a 15-year-old boy. The other boys arrested are 12, 13 and 15 years old.
The incident prompted a brief lockdown at the Capitol, where the Minnesota House of Representatives was in session. Minnesota House Press Secretary Ted Modrich told WCCO that "the House went into recess, members and staff were asked to remain in the Chamber, and the Capitol Complex was placed under a lockdown."
It appears the vehicle took out a light pole outside of the complex.
"We had a bunch of kids out joy riding stolen vehicles, putting our community and loved ones at risk," said St. Paul Police Public Information Officer Steve Linders. "Incredible that no one was injured."
On Thursday morning, police said they now believe five people were involved, so authorities are still seeking to apprehend one more person.
for more features.