Even with the help of dogs, dozens of squad cars, a State Patrol helicopter and countless mosquitoes, police again came up just short of capturing a fugitive they had been seeking since last week.
North Mankato authorities had spotted Jacob John Friedrichs, who has been accused of hitting a Blue Earth County Sheriffs deputy with a car and is being connected to stolen property, driving on Range Street in lower North Mankato. He drove up the hill in to upper North Mankato and then came down the wrong way on Highway 14 going east in the westbound lanes trying to elude police.
He eventually drove into the ditch right below the steep bluff along Highway 14 and ran from the car into the woods.
Authorities set up search perimeter along Highway 14, the west side of Highway 169 past Waco Scaffolding and along the eastern edge of upper North Mankato.
Canine units from as far away as Fairmont and Jordan responded to the search, said Nicollet County Sheriff Dave Lange. He estimated there were 4 to six dogs involved and a dozen or more agencies.
Lange said at about 5:40 p.m. authorities would make one more push into woods with canine units and if no luck, call it off for now.
Friedrichs spent time in prison on a meth conviction and has been connected to stolen property as well as the incident where he clipped a deputy with a car trying to run from a traffic stop.
Lange said anyone willing to drive down Highway 14 the wrong way is a danger to the public, "Sooner or later he's going to hurt somebody."
"He has a total disregard for the law and the general public."
Swarming mosquitoes were not only a problem for deputies but for the suspect as well.
"The bugs are just horrendous," Lange said. He didn' t have any doubt Freidrichs was suffering badly. "He's going to be a few quarts low on blood."