Archive for Hot Topic

Dassel man arrested after 64-mile police chase

STEARNS COUNTY, MN – A 47-year-old man from Dassel was arrested Monday after an hour-long police chase that covered 64 miles.

Jason Michael Ashwill was being held in Stearns County Jail and faces possible felony charges for fleeing police in a motor vehicle and damage to property, Waite Park Police Chief David Bentrud stated in a news release issued Tuesday.

According to the news release, Ashwill reportedly threatened an individual who was street sweeping the parking lot at Cash Wise Foods in Waite Park. The release states that he “started to yell and scream at him and advised him if he didn’t stop what he was doing he was going to kill him.”

Fearing for his safety, the individual retreated to a different area of the parking lot and called the police. When officers arrived, they attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, which was driving in circles in the parking lot.

Ashwill reportedly fled the scene in his vehicle when officers turned on their emergency lights, driving north on Waite Avenue and then east on Division Street. He then entered Highway 15.

Several agencies attempted to stop the vehicle, and pursuit speeds reached about 100 miles per hour. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the Kimball Police Department deployed stop sticks, which flattened one tire on the suspect’s vehicle.

Another set of stop sticks were deployed as the vehicle turned around and started driving north. A second tire was flattened, and the pursuit continued at speeds of 50 to 70 miles per hour.

Upon re-entering the St. Cloud area, police set up more stop sticks, which were able to flatten the last two tires.

Once all four tires were flattened, Ashwill allegedly continued to drive the vehicle on its rims. The release states that Ashwill had a hard time controlling the vehicle, but continued at speeds of 50 miles per hour. He continued north toward Royalton, where assisting officers were able to stop the vehicle using the Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver and take Ashwill into custody.

No injuries were reported. Three Waite Park squads sustained minor tire damage. The Waite Park Police Department was assisted by Stearns County, the Minnesota State Patrol, the Kimball Police Department, the Cold Spring Police Department, Morrison County, and the Little Falls Police Department.

Man dies in industrial accident in Meeker Co.

MEEKER COUNTY, MN – A man from Litchfield died in an industrial accident in Watkins Wednesday, according to the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office responded to a report of the accident at 11:36 a.m. The initial report was of an employee pinned in a piece of equipment. Meeker County Deputies, Watkins Ambulance, Watkins Fire Department, and Life Link III all responded to the scene.

Rescue workers were able to free the individual from the equipment and began life saving efforts. However, the victim succumbed to his injuries and died at the scene.

The employee has been identified as Todd Shoutz, 51, of Litchfield. The preliminary investigation revealed Shoutz, a maintenance worker, was working on the machine at the time of the accident.

The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the investigation.

Dassel man charged with first degree criminal sexual conduct

DASSEL, MN – Shane Colberg, 40, of Dassel has been charged with two felony counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, according to a formal complaint.
The charges followed an investigation by the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office, during which a search warrant was executed Sept. 20 in the 64000 block of 233rd Street in Dassel Township, according to Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze.
Colberg was arrested and subsequently charged with two felony counts of first degree criminal sexual conduct, each of which, if he is convicted, carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $40,000 fine, or both.

See the full story in the Friday, Sept. 29 issue of Enterprise Dispatch.

DC sophomore passes away; counseling to be offered for students

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – An email was sent to Dassel-Cokato School District staff this afternoon (Friday, Sept. 22) regarding DC sophomore Jacob MacDonald.

Jacob was airlifted to Children’s Hospital Sept. 16 after suffering from a severe food allergy reaction. At that time, he was put into an induced coma and placed on life support.

The email stated that Jacob’s mother contacted the school to report that Jacob had died. She wanted everyone to know that Jacob went peacefully and did not suffer.

The school email noted: “We know that the news of Jacob’s death may cause strong, varied reactions and we want to support each other as best we can. Please seek out support today as you need.”

School officials have confirmed that the football game at Watertown-Mayer High School tonight will still be played. Jacob was a member of the football team, wearing jersey number 34.

Special counseling services for students will be available in the media center Monday, Sept. 25.

A story about Jacob’s prayer vigil was printed in today’s edition of the Enterprise Dispatch:

Waverly pedestrians hit by Dassel driver in Hwy 12 crosswalk

WAVERLY – A crash on Hwy 12 and Elder Ave. SW in Waverly, sent two pedestrians to the hospital Thursday evening, according to the Minnesota State Patrol.

The Minnesota State Patrol reported a passenger car that was not involved in the crash, was west bound and stopped to allow pedestrians to cross in a marked crosswalk, when a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Patricia Kathleen Dahlheimer, 56, of Dassel, passed the passenger car in the right turn lane, striking two pedestrians who were crossing Highway 12.

Jane Christine Krueger, 40, of Waverly, was transported to the Buffalo Hospital with life-threatening injuries.  Roy Michael Krueger, 57, also of Waverly, was transported to the Buffalo Hospital with non-life threatening injuries, according the Minnesota State Patrol.

The Wright County Sheriff’s Department assisted on scene.

Cokato man arrested after law enforcement pursuit on Highway 12

DASSEL, COKATO, MN – The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office on Aug. 19 at approximately 6:33 p.m. received a report of a suspected intoxicated driver eastbound from Litchfield on US Highway 12, according to a release from Meeker County Sheriff Brian Cruze. A deputy located the vehicle at US Highway 12 and MN Highway 15 in Dassel. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, and a pursuit ensued. The driver finally stopped in the 4800 block of Reardon Ave. SW, Cokato, and the driver, Eric McStotts, 29, of Cokato, was arrested for fleeing in motor vehicle and allegedly driving under the influence, according to the release. Meeker County was assisted by Litchfield Police and Wright County Sheriff’s Office. As of Monday, Aug. 21, McStotts was listed on the Meeker County jail roster as being in custody, being held for a court appearance.