MANKATO — Police used a Taser on a man who allegedly was high when he followed a police officer, led officers on a low-speed chase and then struck two squad cars.
Daniel Robert Devens, 37, of Mankato, was charged with felony counts of fleeing police and property damage, and gross misdemeanor counts of DWI and obstructing the legal process Monday in Blue Earth County District Court.
A Mankato Department of Public Safety community service officer noticed Devens driving a Jeep erratically behind him on Hoffman Road around 11:50 p.m. Saturday. The Jeep nearly hit the squad and at another point Devens was partially hanging outside of the window, according to a court complaint.
The officer made multiple turns and the Jeep did the same, according to a court complaint. The officer suspected he was being followed and pulled over near South Victory and Skylark drives. The Jeep reportedly stopped in front of the squad and backed up, again nearly striking the squad.
Devens got out, shouted at the community service officer and removed his belt and “acted as though he would use it as a whip,” the complaint states.
He got back into his Jeep and nearly struck the squad of another police officer who was arriving.
A short pursuit ensued, during which Devens stopped and started several times.
Officer were eventually able to block him from driving any farther. Devens allegedly then backed up into the squad behind him, then rammed into the squad in front of him.
Neither officer was injured and the squads sustained minor damage, said Associate Director of Public Safety Dan Schisel.
Devens then allegedly was aggressive toward officers, including threatening to use his belt. An officer then deployed his Taser in an attempt to avoid a physical confrontation, Schisel said.
Devens continued to act erratically, did not follow commands and appeared to be under the influence of drugs, the charges say.
He was taken to the Mayo Clinic Health System Mankato hospital for an evaluation and blood test before he was booked into jail.