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.

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