By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — A Mankato man who eluded law enforcement for more than a week appeared in court Thursday morning to face felony charges for allegedly clipping a sheriff's deputy while escaping from a traffic stop.
Jacob John Friedrichs, 31, was arrested Tuesday night at his residence on Ahlstrom Road. Blue Earth County Sheriff Brad Peterson said investigators had been watching several locations and suspected he was there. He was arrested without incident.
Authorities had been attempting to catch Friedrichs since a deputy saw him leaving the area of a disturbance in South Bend Township the night of June 29. The Minnesota Department of Corrections had issued a warrant for his arrest several days befor the incident.
When the deputy attempted to approach Friedrichs, who was a passenger in a car that had been stopped, he allegedly reached down and pushed the driver's foot on the accelerator. The car clipped the door of the deputy's squad car, knocking the door into the deputy.
Friedrichs allegedly ran from the vehicle after it stopped a short distance away and couldn't be found after a lengthy search. He was spotted again by a deputy on July 2 at the Southhaven mobile home court in Mankato. He managed to escape again after a large search involving several agencies.
He was spotted again Monday driving on Range Street by police officers in North Mankato. A reward was offered for information leading to his arrest after he escaped again, this time after leading police on a chase up to upper North Mankato and back down Highway 14 to the area of Hiniker Pond. He drove the wrong way down Highway 14 during the chase, police reported.
Charges for that incident have been filed in Nicollet County. Assistant County Attorney Mike Hanson said law enforcement has not requested any new charges at this time related to the second search in Mankato.
A public defender representing Friedrichs during Thursday's hearing requested his bail be set at $5,000 so Friedrichs could post a bond and start serving his prison time for a parole violation, which prompted the original warrant for his arrest. Friedrichs was sent to prison in 2005 after being convicted for manufacturing methamphetamine.
Hanson responded by saying he wanted the $50,000 bail recommended for Friedrichs to be doubled. District Court Judge David Peterson granted the request by setting bail at $100,000. Peterson pointed out that he doesn't have control over the Department of Corrections or any decision authorities there would make to release Friedrichs after he is turned over to them.