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High-speed chase hits speeds over 100 mph in arrest

Benjamin Cadwell

A nine-vehicle posse of law enforcement officers chased a suspected drunken driver through two counties at speeds reaching up to 120 mph Thursday morning.

The chase ended when several squad cars were able to box in Benjamin Richard Cadwell, 34, of Bemidji.

He is jailed in the Hubbard County Correctional Center on pending charges of DWI, open bottle and fleeing peace officers.

Two Park Rapids Police Department squad cars were joined by four Hubbard County vehicles, two from Becker County and a State Patrol car.

The incident began around 10 a.m.

"I was headed out of the office down Fair Avenue and I noticed this white pickup doing donuts in the intersection of Eighth and Fair and he was going around and around and around in circles," said Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers.

"So I pulled up," he said. "I thought, 'This is really stupid to do in front of a cop.'"

Eilers said Cadwell "saw me, took off and headed west (on Eighth) about 50-60 miles an hour. Right by Olson ball fields he slammed on the brakes and stopped so I walked up to the truck, had him show me his hands and got his driver's license.

"I went back to the car to run him and see what's going on and I kept watching him and he was looking from the rear-view mirror to the side mirror and that's not a good sign," Eilers recalled.

"Then I saw him reach for some stuff under the seat and I called for Tom (Haag) to come for backup.

I walked back to talk to Tom for a second," Eilers said. "We were both walking up to the pickup and he took off, spraying dirt all over us and the chase was on.

"We went up Fair Avenue to 34 and went west to Osage. At Osage he turned north and went on various Becker County Roads up there.

"Then we ended up coming back south of Itasca State Park into Hubbard County and then he stopped at Hubbard County 42 and Highway 71. That's where we got him boxed in with sheriff's office cars."

Eilers said it was probably a miracle that no one got hurt, since the chase "was all over the road. There was a lot of vehicles pulled over which was really great."

At a minmum, Eilers said Cadwell was traveling 100; his maximum speed reached 120 mph.

It took several hours to get Cadwell booked into jail. He was too intoxicated, officers said.

"He's being charged with driving under the influence, fleeing and open bottle," Eilers said. "I'm not sure if there's other things."

Eilers said it was a change of routine for him since he usually has desk duty. His adrenalin was still pumping hours later, he admitted.

"It was something interesting," he said. "I don't want to do it too often."