Handcuffed woman escapes Brainerd police custody, leads chase
While officers talked to witnesses at the scene, a Baxter police officer saw the woman enter her vehicle and drive away after apparently freeing one of her hands from the handcuffs and reaching out the open back window of the squad car to open the door from the outside.
BRAINERD, Minn. -- A 37-year-old Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, woman faces multiple charges after she escaped from handcuffs and the back of a Brainerd police squad car and led police on a chase before crashing into railroad tracks.
According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, Brainerd and Baxter police officers were called at 6:21 p.m. Oct. 12 to respond to a disturbance at the Lakes Area Alano Association in Baxter. The woman allegedly assaulted someone, attempting to drag the person to her vehicle and slapping them, according to a witness.
After reportedly resisting officers during arrest, the woman was placed in handcuffs and then into the back of a Brainerd squad vehicle. While officers talked to witnesses at the scene, a Baxter police officer saw the woman enter her vehicle and drive away after apparently freeing one of her hands from the handcuffs and reaching out the open back window of the squad car to open the door from the outside.
The Baxter officer began chasing the woman east on Highway 210 with lights and sirens activated, and as the officer caught up, the woman ran a red light at Baxter Drive, the report stated. She then turned southbound and eastbound onto Charles Street, running a stop sign at Southwest Fourth Street and continuing east into the parking lot of Riverside Elementary School. Reaching a dead end in the parking lot, the woman ran off the road and crashed into the railroad tracks before running on foot, according to police.
The woman was eventually handcuffed again and transported to the Crow Wing County Jail by the Baxter officer. She faces a felony for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, gross misdemeanor escape from custody and four misdemeanors.
Three hours earlier, the woman was a suspect in the theft of a cash donation box containing about $400 along with two books and two necklaces from CatTale’s Books and Gifts in downtown Brainerd. An employee identified the woman from a booking photo shared by a Brainerd officer, the complaint stated.
According to the complaint, the woman admitted to the theft when officers responded to the separate disturbance call later that evening and $56 in cash was located inside a backpack in her vehicle. She told police she spent some of the money. Also located in the backpack was a small baggy containing a half-gram white crystal, which field tested positive for methamphetamine.
The woman is set to appear on these two cases along with five others, all of which occurred this month, during a Nov. 16 review hearing.