The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 30, 2009

High-speed chase nets Chaska felon

ST PETER — Mankato police came from two directions to bring a high-speed car chase to an end in St. Peter Friday morning.

The chase started around 2:30 a.m. on Highway 169 near the SuperAmerica store at North Mankato’s Webster Avenue intersection.

A Mankato police officer had stopped 20-year-old Luke Campbell of Chaska for suspected drunken driving.

When the officer got out of the squad car, Campbell sped away, the Mankato Police Department report said.

As Campbell drove north on Highway 169 with officers following at about 90 mph, Mankato officers that were in the city’s hilltop area headed to St. Peter on Highway 22. Those officers arrived in St. Peter before Campbell and put out devices to deflate his tires.

Campbell kept rolling for awhile, with police vehicles from several agencies surrounding him, before finally stopping in front of the Godfather’s Pizza restaurant downtown.

“I’ve never seen that many police cars on the California Highway Patrol show,” said Tom Leonhardt, who was watching from his apartment across the street. “They all had sirens going and they all had lights going. It was quite a spectacle.

“There had to be over 20 vehicles. I didn’t realize there would be that many officers on duty at that time of night.”

Campbell was arrested for fleeing police in a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, underage drinking and other charges.

Police suspect he was intoxicated, but don’t know his alcohol level because he was given a urine test instead of a breath test.

Campbell is facing felony drug charges in Carver County. The charges, which also include charges carrying a pistol in a public place and committing a crime while wearing a bullet resistant vest, were filed in March.

He was released after posting a $50,000 bond with several conditions, including that he remain law abiding and not use alcohol.

In June 2008, Campbell was convicted for a first-degree attempted aggravated robbery charge stemming from a February 2008 incident in Hennepin County. He was sentenced to two years in prison the following July, but the sentence was stayed until 2011, according to court records.

Conditions of the stay were that Campbell serve a year in jail and, among other things, refrain from using alcohol.

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