The Free Press, Mankato, MN

March 6, 2013

Chase ends in crash

Suspect runs after his car rolls end over end

By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — Police are saying a 30-year-old Mankato man is lucky to be alive after a high-speed chase ended with his car hitting a dead end and flipping over a large man-made creek bed at the bottom of Thompson Ravine.

A Mankato police officer attempted to stop a 2002 Saturn SL2 sedan at the intersection of North Fifth and Washington streets, which is near Washington Park, at about 4:15 a.m. Wednesday, said Sgt. Adam Gray of the Mankato Department of Public Safety. The driver, who was being stopped for traffic violations, fled north on Fifth Street reaching speeds well over the 30 mph speed limit.

The chase continued across Madison Avenue toward Tourtellotte Park. Fifth Street ends about a block after a turn east for Thompson Road. The driver, later identified as Brandon Michael Hall, hit a bank at the end of the road and flipped end over end over the creek, which has been filled with large rocks in that area.

Hall managed to get out of the car and run from the officer, whose squad car also received minor damage when it slid into a snowbank at the dead end, Gray said. Hall was arrested a short time later along North Fourth Street.

Fortunately it was early in the morning so vehicle and pedestrian traffic was at a minimum on Madison Avenue and along Fifth Street, Gray said.

"He's very lucky to be alive," he said. "It could have been a lot worse. We're lucky there wasn't more traffic."

Charges of fleeing police in a motor vehicle, criminal vehicular operation, fourth-degree driving while intoxicated, driving after revocation and fleeing police on foot are being requested.

Hall, who is in the Blue Earth County jail, had been released from jail in November after being sentenced for refusing to let his girlfriend out of his car during an argument. His girlfriend reported Hall was driving dangerously during the June 27 incident. A prison sentence was stayed for that incident, but Hall served 90 days in jail for an unrelated incident in July involving child endangerment, drugs and obstructing a police officer.