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Officers led on foot chase through downtown Park Rapids

BY Sarah smith

An army of officers descended on Park Rapids’ downtown Saturday afternoon to apprehend two juveniles from the Cass Lake-Walker area with outstanding warrants.

The incident began in the McDonald’s drive-through, where an officer attempted to pull over a driver for a traffic infraction.

That led to a foot chase downtown.

Three officers, two deputies and a State Patrol trooper responded.

“When you call for help and you’ve got somebody on top of your officer in the driveway, quite a few people show up,” said Park Rapids Police Chief Terry Eilers.

The incident started just after 2:30 p.m. on Highway 34 during a Safe and Sober campaign.

An officer noticed “the driver of a pickup didn’t have a seatbelt on,” Eilers said. “The guy decided to pull into the McDonald’s area there and pretend he was buying something and then the officer walked up and as he was starting to walk up the guy bailed and ran.”

“Things went to hell from there,” Eilers said.

The suspect ran into the basement of the Schwarzwald Restaurant on Main after tossing his jacket into the street.

“People in the restaurant told the officers responding that this guy went downstairs,” Eilers recounted. “Well, there’s no way out of downstairs except back up the same stairs.”

Officers began a search of the downstairs and noticed the bathroom door locked.

“They announced themselves and he said, ‘Hey I’m using the bathroom, go away,’” Eilers said.

Officers forced their way in, where the suspect was trying to hold the door shut.

“So they got him out of there and arrested him, took him over to the jail and found out he was on a probation violation out of Cass Lake, Eilers said.

Meanwhile there was an altercation between officers at McDonalds and a passenger of the pickup.

“The female passenger in the back seat became agitated and began yelling obscenities,” said Eilers, reading from the police report. “Evidently she was drunk ... For whatever reason she decided to shoot her mouth off.”

She, too, was a juvenile. She, too, went to jail.

Numerous charges are pending against the minors, who are not being named at this time.

“There are DUIs, disorderly conduct, minor consuming, driving after revocation, under 21 drinking, fleeing, obstructing legal process and it looks like somebody else had a probation violation, too,” Eilers said.

The police presence downtown garnered a lot of attention and Facebook began buzzing almost immediately.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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