Police say Rochester Man Made 2 Attempts to Flee From Officers
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A Rochester man arrested on a felony arrest warrant Saturday is expected to face additional felony charges for causing a traffic crash while trying to elude a police officer.
Rochester Police Captain Casey Moilanen says an officer was on routine patrol around 5:45 Saturday evening when he spotted 31-year-old Andrew Gustafson and driving a vehicle west in the 1100 block of Second Street Southeast. Moilanen says the officer recognized Gustavus as a person wanted on a number of arrest warrants and made a U-turn to start following his vehicle.
The police report on the incident says the officer then witnessed Gustafson drive through a stop sign at the intersection with 11th Avenue Southeast and slide into a snowbank along the roadway. After getting his vehicle unstuck, the officer then saw Gustafson head north on 11th Avenue.
Captain Moilanen says, as the following officer approached a line of vehicles waiting for a red light at the intersection with East Center Street, he saw Gustafson's vehicle pull out of the line into the southbound lane of 11th Avenue and proceed into the intersection, where his vehicle smashed into the driver's side of a van traveling east on Center Street. Another officer was nearby and witnessed the crash. The officer also saw Gustafson's vehicle knock over a traffic signal and crash into a power pole at the intersection before he exited the vehicle and fled on foot. That officer was able to chase and apprehend Gustafson, who was taken into custody after failing a field sobriety test.
He was transported to St. Mary's hospital to be checked out for possible injuries, along with the two occupants of the van. Captain Moilanen says the 55-year-old man driving the van escaped without any serious injuries but the 48-year-old woman in the passenger seat suffered possible rib and leg fractures.
At the hospital, the arresting officer went to his squad car to obtain a warrant for a blood sample from Gustafson while he was being sent to an X-ray room at St. Mary's Hospital. The officer soon returned with a warrant and discovered Gustafson had run out of the emergency department wearing only his hospital gown.
He was located In the Generose parking ramp across the street from the hospital and was rearrested. Gustafson is now jailed at the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center on a long list of possible charges, including felony counts of criminal vehicular operation and fleeing from police.
Gustafson was also the subject of a large law enforcement operation in rural Rochester earlier this year. During the incident in May, a State Patrol helicopter Friday and to help search for Gustafson if a area just southwest of Rochester. At the time, he was being sought in the 2020 robbery case.
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