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Elijah Lee Knowles
Elijah Lee Knowles

Akeley man allegedly assaults state trooper, leads law enforcement in high-speed chase through Hubbard County

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news Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Elijah Lee Knowles, 26, of Akeley was arraigned on six felony counts and three gross misdemeanors in district court Monday after allegedly assaulting a state trooper followed by a high-speed chase early Saturday morning.

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According to the complaint, State Highway Patrol trooper Darcy Gagnon stopped Knowles' vehicle on Highway 34 just east of the Dorset Corner at approximately 1:30 a.m.

After performing a sobriety test that showed a .143 blood alcohol concentration, Gagnon arrested Knowles for driving while intoxicated (DWI).

As Gagnon was attempting to handcuff Knowles, he resisted and assaulted the trooper, according to the complaint. Knowles was able to get to Gagnon's Taser and beat her on the head several times, causing a laceration, the complaint states.

Knowles put the Taser to the trooper's head and pulled the trigger but the safety was on and did not fire, according to the complaint.

Knowles tried to take the trooper's sidearm but back-up officers arrived on the scene. He then fled in his vehicle at speeds in excess of 110 mph, including through Nevis, where he attempted to ram a patrol car and sped through several stop signs.

The pursuit continued south to CSAH 33 and Knowles tried to ram a second patrol car, according to the complaint.

The pursuit ended when Knowles went through a stop sign at Highway 34 and 200th Street (CSAH 33), crashing his vehicle.

Knowles got out of the car, resisting arrest by Hubbard County deputies Adam Williams and Jeff Stacey. The deputies used mace and arm bars to secure Knowles in handcuffs. Other officers arrived to assist the deputies.

As Knowles was being put in the patrol car, he kicked one of the officers in the chest, according to the complaint.

Knowles has been charged with six felonies. The charges include Assault in the First Degree, attempting to use deadly force against officers, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years or $30,000 or both, with a 10-year minimum mandatory sentence. He's charged with Second Degree Assault-Weapon and Bodily Harm, with a maximum penalty of 10 years or $20,000 or both, and Third Degree Assault, five years or $10,000 or both.

He also faces felony charges of Disarming a Police Officer, with a maximum penalty of five years and/or $10,000; Assault in the Fourth Degree-Peace Officer, Bodily Harm/ Fluids, three years and/or $6,000, and Fleeing a Peace Officer, three years or $5,000 or both.

Gross misdemeanors for which he's been charged include Third Degree Driving While Impaired - .08 or more, one year and/or $3,000; Third Degree Driving While Impaired, with an aggravating factor, Knowles has a prior DWI in January 2008, one year and/or $3,000 fine, and Obstructing Arrest, one year and/or $3,000 fine.

Gagnon was treated at St. Joseph's Area Health Services where she required staples to close the head wound she received as a result of the assault by Knowles.

During Monday's arraignment, Knowles stated, the "charges were trumped up. It wasn't," then he stopped, saying, "That's all."

A sample of his blood has been sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for testing.

Judge Paul Rasmussen set bail at $250,000 and scheduled a court date for 1:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7.

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