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opinion Brainerd,MN 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
End of the story
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

From This Was Brainerd:

July 24

40 years ago (1974)

A 20-year-old Illinois man is in custody after a high-speed chase through Pillager, Brainerd and Crosby. The man, chased by the Highway Patrol, crashed his car in Crosby. He then abducted the Fridley police chief, who was on vacation, before surrendering north of Outing.


In reference to This Was Brainerd, July 24, 40 years ago, 1974, I was the Minnesota State Highway Patrol officer involved in the chase. I was on the patrol from August 1958 through November 1980. My duties involved truck detail and I had two civilian helpers to help in weighing the trucks and checking equipment. The two men were Mark Hoeisel and Bruce Edberg of Brainerd. When I refer to "we" in this letter it includes these two men.

We were at Country Kitchen when I received a call about someone leaving a gas station without paying for the gas. I received a description of the car, but the wrong license plate number. We left Country Kitchen and we met the car near the Baxter store. We did not chase him in Pillager.

I turned and chased him from Baxter through Brainerd, Ironton and about five blocks into Crosby. He turned down a side street. I was crowding him over and couldn't make the turn, so I had to go to the alley and turn. I got back on the street he was on - it ended in a swamp. He did not crash the car.

When I arrived at the swamp, a man told me the driver took off down this road and has a gun. I grabbed the shotgun and took off after him. I saw a car coming toward me. I stood in the road and stopped the car. A lady shouted, "he has my husband." She gave me the make, color and description of the car including the license number.

I ran back to my patrol car and put out the information over the radio. Patrol Officer Elmer Hague radioed back, "I just met that car going north on Highway 6."

I headed north on Highway 6. We arrived in Emily. Just north of Emily is a service road about one-fourth of a mile long. The suspect turned on that road. Elmer said he would go to the other end and block it off. I followed the suspect's car and he stopped.

The driver came back to my car and said "he (the suspect) wants to talk to you." I told him to get behind my car. I exited the car with my gun drawn and told the suspect to get out. He put the gun to his head like he was going to kill himself. I told him not to do that because it is so hard on the family you leave behind. He laid the gun on the seat and got out. I placed him under arrest, handcuffed him and put him in my car.

The man that was the hostage told me he was the Public Safety Director of Fridley.

I took the suspect to the Crow Wing County Jail and turned over his gun.

That is the end of the story for me.