A Princeton man, Gerald Donald St. Pierre, 41, is being charged with a felony for fleeing police in a motorized vehicle on July 4.
On Thursday, July 4 at 9:48 p.m., a high speed pursuit occurred when a driver fled police on Hwy. 169. Having been advised of the suspected drunken driver, Minnesota State Patrol first observed the vehicle at the intersection of Hwys. 95 and 169 in Princeton. The resulting pursuit traveled northbound down the highway, passing through Milaca and eventually ending when the vehicle left the roadway near the intersection with Hwy. 27 near the southwest corner of Mille Lacs Lake.
According to the criminal complaint:
Suspect Gerald Donald St. Pierre, 41, of Princeton, was first observed by State Patrol at the Hwy. 95 intersection, Hill caught up with St. Pierre between one and two miles north of Princeton. St. Pierre’s pickup was traveling at 90 miles per hour. The vehicle swerved between both lanes and in and out of the median.
Law enforcement activated emergency lights and sirens, and the vehicle continued northbound at high speeds, weaving in and out of the ditch. Other officers joined the pursuit. Stop sticks were employed south of Milaca, resulting in a flat front right tire on the pickup. The pickup did not stop.
St. Pierre exited on Hwy. 23 in Milaca, crossing through 23 and continuing back onto Hwy. 169. Stop sticks were again deployed at the intersection of 300th Street, flattening the pickup’s remaining front tire. St. Pierre continued northbound on 169 at 80 miles per hour. At the curve past the junction with Hwy. 27, the pickup lost control and left the highway, then striking a sign and bush before coming to a stop against a tree. St. Pierre was removed from the vehicle and identified.
Law enforcement smelled a strong odor of alcohol on St. Pierre, and St. Pierre’s speech was slurred. St. Pierre was taken to the hospital, and a search warrant for his blood was secured. Laboratory results are pending.
In a Mirandized statement, St. Pierre admitted to seeing and fleeing the officer. He further admitted to drinking alcohol and observed he was too impaired to drive. In total, the high speed chase traveled more than 30 miles of highway.
The felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle charge comes with a 3-year and one-day jail sentence and/or a $5,000 fine. The misdemeanor DWI charge comes with a 90 day jail sentence and/or a $1,000 fine.