Fleeing driver arrested following second pursuit

The driver of a vehicle that fled Bloomington police officers last month was arrested after a second high-speed police pursuit that same day, which ended with the driver being ejected from her vehicle following a crash.

The 18-year-old Minneapolis woman had been identified as the driver of a Ford Mustang with Wisconsin license plates that exceeded 100 mph as she fled through Bloomington during the morning of Jan. 12. Police officers called off the pursuit that morning, but arrested the woman that evening, as she returned to the Bloomington residence where the incident began, according to Bloomington Police Cmdr. Kim Clauson.

She has been charged with two felonies, one for each pursuit.

The Mustang had been parked outside a home on the 8700 block of Russell Avenue, where police officers have been dispatched several times in recent weeks. Shortly after 9 a.m. Jan. 12 the Mustang the residence and was traveling through the intersection of Penn Avenue and 90th Street when a patrol officer observed that the driver was not wearing a seat belt. Suspecting that one or more of the occupants of the vehicle had an outstanding warrant, multiple officers responded to a traffic stop of the vehicle, according to the first criminal complaint.

As an officer approached the vehicle the driver pulled away at a high rate of speed. The pursuit of the vehicle was called off, but officers found three people walking along Old Shakopee Road. One person was the 20-year-old homeowner from Russell Avenue. The homeowner and another woman with her said they were passengers in the Mustang and were dropped off by the Minneapolis woman, who fled the area, the complaint noted.

The suspect was later verified as the driver through surveillance video of the Russell Avenue residence, as the police department has placed a camera tower on the street outside the property as a result of the repeated calls to the neighborhood. Shortly before midnight, the Mustang was spotted near the Russell Avenue residence, with occupants. Officers conducted a traffic stop of the vehicle, and a male exited from the passenger’s side. Despite efforts of an officer to prevent the vehicle from fleeing the scene, the driver maneuvered around the officer and fled to Interstate 35W, where she headed northbound. During the pursuit, the driver turned off the vehicle’s headlights in an attempt to evade officers, according to the second complaint.

The woman reached speeds in excess of 100 mph in her attempt to flee, but crashed at an intersection off Highway 280 at the St. Paul and Falcon Heights border. The driver was ejected from her vehicle and transported to a hospital for treatment of her injuries, the complaint noted.

She was charged with two felony counts of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. If convicted, she faces up to three years and one day in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 for each count.

In addition to her felony charges in Hennepin County, the suspect was in custody in Ramsey County for another high-speed fleeing case and has a pending Hennepin County car theft complaint, the first complaint noted.