Brainerd man leads police on chase, flees barefoot in the snow
According to court documents, after a police chase an officer caught up to the suspect, who was fleeing on foot in the yard of a house on the 400 block of Tyrol Drive.
BRAINERD — A 40-year-old Brainerd man faces charges of driving while intoxicated and fleeing a peace officer after leading a Baxter police officer on a chase.
Andrew Derail Gilbert made his first court appearance Jan. 3 in Crow Wing County District Court and faces charges of felony first-degree driving while intoxicated, felony refusing to submit to a chemical test, felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, misdemeanor fleeing a peace officer by means other than a motor vehicle and misdemeanor operating a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock device.
The charges stem from an incident when Baxter Police Officer Taylor Halverson observed a vehicle southbound on Highway 371 at about 11:35 p.m. Dec. 30 and had just turned east onto Highway 210 with no functioning taillights.
According to the criminal complaint, the vehicle pulled over and stopped in the left turn lane to turn north onto Golf Course Drive, but as Halverson pulled behind the vehicle and stopped with his emergency lights flashing, the vehicle accelerated away at a high rate of speed, still with no taillights activated.
Halverson activated his siren and began pursuing the vehicle eastbound on Highway 210 into Brainerd, estimating the speed to be between 80-90 mph. The vehicle briefly turned into the oncoming lane of traffic on Washington Street at Northwest Third Street and then immediately northbound on Northwest Second Street.
Halverson was unable to continue pursuit, as a median prohibits turning north on Northwest Second Street from eastbound Washington Street. Halverson turned around and drove north on Northwest Second Street.
While passing James Street, he noticed the vehicle sideways against a snowbank at the far north end of the cul-de-sac on Northwest Second Street. Halverson drove toward the vehicle and began to scan the area with his thermal imaging device, as it appeared the suspect had fled on foot.
Halverson immediately observed a man running east up the hill through the snow toward the 400 block of Tyrol Drive. Halverson then exited the squad car and yelled for the man to stop, notifying him he was under arrest, the report stated.
The suspect continued running, and Halverson caught up to him in the yard of a house on the 400 block of Tyrol Drive and ordered the man to get on the ground, but the man did not comply.
The man turned toward Halverson with an “aggressive posture and look and clenched his fists,” according to the criminal complaint. The man still did not comply after Halverson drew his Taser, aimed it at the man and ordered him to the ground.
Brainerd Police Officer Jordan Host arrived and assisted Halverson in arresting the man, who said his life was over and did not initially provide his name. He eventually told officers his name was Andrew Gilbert.
Halverson followed the footprints, which had a wide running stride, to about 15-20 feet away from the driver’s door of the vehicle.
Gilbert’s record showed him to have a restricted license due to alcohol-related offenses.
Halverson reported Gilbert had a strong odor of alcohol emitting from his breath; watery, bloodshot eyes; and slurred speech. Gilbert was not wearing any shoes at the time of arrest.
Halverson followed Gilbert’s footprints in the snow back toward the vehicle and found a white Under Armour flip-flop in one of the shoe prints.
Halverson observed a large amount of snow buildup on the passenger side of the vehicle around door seams, indicating the doors had not been opened.
While in custody, Gilbert said the vehicle was his “girl’s” car. Gilbert said after seeing the police lights,he was concerned about being hit or shot because he is Black. He said he jumped out of the car, lost his shoes and ran up the hill to the east.
Gilbert admitted he had had a couple alcoholic drinks but did not cooperate or follow instructions when Halverson tried to administer a standardized field sobriety test. Havlerson said Gilbert used his arms for balance, took the wrong number of steps, missed heel to toe, stepped off the line and made an improper turn.
Gilbert continued to argue, yell and not cooperate, so Halverson stopped the test. Gilbert also refused a preliminary breath test and asked to call an attorney instead.
Gilbert has two prior felony DWI convictions, and his driving record shows an ignition interlock requirement, which was not installed in the vehicle he had been driving at the time of the incident.
Gilbert appeared in court again Jan. 6 and is set to return Jan. 20. Crow Wing County Jail records show Gilbert was in jail as of Friday, Jan. 7.