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Man leads police on 100 mph chase after drinking ‘28 to 34’ beers

BELGRADE - A man led police on a chase driving more than 100 mph before admitting to drinking "28 to 34" beers, according to criminal charges filed Tuesday in Stearns County court.

Darren Robert Oeltjen
Darren Robert Oeltjen

BELGRADE - A man led police on a chase driving more than 100 mph before admitting to drinking "28 to 34" beers, according to criminal charges filed Tuesday in Stearns County court.

Darren Robert Oeltjen, 40, was charged with fleeing a police officer and DWI Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint:

Oeltjen had been calling and texting an ex-girlfriend on Saturday who had a harassment restraining order against him. The woman met with officers at the Belgrade police station that day and requested a welfare check on Oeltjen at his residence. Another caller reported she had heard from Oeltjen, who said he was suicidal, had drank alcohol and taken pills, and was driving around.

Stearns County Sheriff deputies reported to the Belgrade police station. While the officers were leaving the station, Oeltjen's ex-girlfriend yelled that she saw him driving away from the parking lot. Deputies followed him west on Minnesota Highway 55, saw him swerve from the center line to the shoulder, and turned on their emergency lights and sirens. Oeltjen did not stop, and one deputy said he was driving faster than 100 mph at times.

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Deputies say they eventually backed off from the chase to avoid an accident, but kept following Oeltjen until he pulled into his own driveway. There, an officer said Oeltjen appeared heavily intoxicated. Police began driving him to the Paynesville police station, but on the way, Oeltjen reportedly kicked out a backseat video camera and the light above him.

Police instead took him to Paynesville Hospital, where he refused to submit to a breath test but admitted he had consumed between 28 and 34 beers.

Oeltjen was booked at Stearns County jail after being cleared from the hospital.

He has previous convictions for driving while impaired from 2006 and 2008.

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By Sam Louwagie, St. Cloud Times

Related Topics: STEARNS COUNTY
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