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Pair caught in high-speed chase make court appearance

A wild high-speed chase through Hubbard County Monday night resulted in the arrest of two people in a stolen car.  Park Rapids police officer Justin Frette was patrolling the city when his radio informed him of a stolen vehicle out of Minot, N.D., that was last seen in the L&M Fleet parking lot.  It was around 6 p.m. Monday, July 13.  Frette located the vehicle in the parking lot of the adjacent Walmart superstore and attempted to block it in.  

The vehicle, instead of stopping, accelerated. Frette activated his siren and started a pursuit.  He chased the vehicle east, back through the L&M parking lot, then east on Highway 34 to the Dorset Corner, then north on County Road 226 at speeds reaching 120 mph.  At County Road 107 the female passenger threw something out of the stolen Honda, the criminal complaint stated. At County Road 18 the passenger dumped more contraband from the vehicle.  “Other vehicles took to the ditch to avoid being struck by the fleeing vehicle,” the complaint stated.  Other law enforcement vehicles joined the chase as it veered off Highway 226 onto County Road 50 south of Zorbaz.  The vehicle headed east on County 40 again after swerving off County 50 at 100 mph, the complaint stated.  “Deputies set up spike strips at County Road 2 and 40 and as the vehicle approached the spike strips it went into the ditch to avoid them” the complaint indicated.  “Officers were able to box the vehicle in with a patrol car in front, another on the driver’s side and another behind the vehicle and were able to get the vehicle stopped,” the complaint said.  

The couple refused to get out of the vehicle and were forcibly removed and placed in handcuffs, the complaint stated.  The driver was identified as Shelby Michael Kvaal, 20, of Minot. His passenger was 18-year-old Mercedes Dawn Russell, also of Minot.  The pair appeared in Hubbard County District Court Tuesday noon on charges of Fifth Degree Drug Possession, Receiving Stolen Property and Kvaal was charged with Fleeing.  A search of the vehicle turned up several micro baggies inside a camera bag believed to be meth.  “Officers later located in the ditches a scale used to weigh drugs and a pair of brass knuckles,” the complaint said.  The two had left Minot three days earlier, Russell told officers.  They were in Park Rapids to pick up a friend before heading to Fargo, the complaint said.  Kvaal’s North Dakota license was suspended and he was on probation at the time, the complaint indicated.  Judge Robert Tiffany set Kvaal’s bail at $50,000 unconditional and $35,000 conditional.  

Prosecutor Don Dearstyne told the judge Kvaal “had a significant record in North Dakota.”  Tiffany set a tearful Russell’s bail at $20,000 unconditional and $10,000 conditional.  “Can I call my Mom and Dad?” the weeping teen asked the judge.  Both are set to return to court Aug. 3.  The drug charges and the Receiving Stolen Property charge each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine. The Fleeing charge Kvaal faces is punishable by a maximum of three years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine upon conviction.    

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