Baxter man faces charges for ramming vehicle into trooper’s squad
A 39-year-old Baxter man is accused of ramming his vehicle into a Minnesota State Patrol squad car during a police pursuit.
Jason Aaron Rakauskas was charged Monday, July 6, in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd with three felonies — first-degree assault using deadly force against a peace officer, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and fleeing in a motor vehicle from peace officers.
According to the criminal complaint, a state trooper was attempting to make a traffic stop at 1:15 a.m. Thursday when the driver, later identified as Rakauskas, failed to stop. The trooper pursued the vehicle into Rakauskas' yard in Baxter. The vehicle turned around in the yard and departed west on Fairview Road.
During the course of the pursuit, the suspect vehicle stopped in the middle of the road and reversed, striking the trooper’s marked patrol car, the court document stated. The suspect vehicle then continued, fleeing forward before again braking suddenly, stopping again in the middle of the road. The trooper pulled to the side of the suspect vehicle to avoid striking it, and was then positioned with the driver's side door in front of Rakauskas' vehicle.
Rakauskas' vehicle then allegedly accelerated, slamming into the trooper’s squad at the driver's side door, disabling the vehicle. The trooper was able to get out of the squad car using the passenger side door. Rakauskas' vehicle then fled the area, the complaint stated.
Officers located the vehicle abandoned a short distance away in the area of Flintwood Drive in Baxter. The registered owner of the suspect vehicle was identified as Rakauskas, who the trooper positively identified as the vehicle’s driver.
Officers obtained a search warrant for the arrest of Rakauskas, which was executed about 9:08 a.m. Rakauskas was located in a bedroom inside the residence and awoken by law enforcement. Next to his bed was a cellphone, which was seized as evidence. Rakauskas was transported to the Crow Wing County Jail, where he was read the Miranda rights and he stated he understood his rights and wanted to speak with the investigator.
Rakauskas stated he was at Boulder Tap House about 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday before returning home. Rakauskas stated he went to bed about 10 p.m. A search warrant of the defendant’s cellphone showed phone calls after 10 p.m., the time Rakauskas stated he was asleep. The investigator contacted the individuals who stated they received messages or spoke with Rakauskas after 10 p.m. Rakauskas admitted to the investigator he was the driver of the vehicle, stating he was trying to get home when the trooper attempted to stop him. When his vehicle became disabled, he fled from the vehicle and returned home.
Rakauskas’ next court hearing is scheduled Aug. 19.