Mankato, MN - Felony Warrant Arrest Suspect Assaulted Police Officer - Steals Patrol Car - High Speed Chase - 130 MPH - Spike Strip Crash Into Corn Field

June 22, 2017

mankatofreepress.com

A wanted man stole a Mankato police vehicle and led multiple law enforcement agencies on a high-speed chase that ended in a cornfield south of Waldorf Thursday evening.

No one was injured in the chase, which spanned nearly 25 miles and reached speeds exceeding 100 mph.

Police attempted to arrest Danny Eugene Zuehlke, 38, of Preston, on a felony warrant at a residence in the 100 block of Hanover Street, according to a city of Mankato news release.

The suspect got into an altercation with an officer and then ran and took a squad vehicle, according to Sgt. Jeff Knutson.

Authorities pursued the driver onto Main Street and then Victory Drive before he turned south onto Highway 83, according to scanner traffic. Police soon reported the man zooming past St. Clair at about 100 mph.

At about 5:49 p.m. officers were heard radioing the driver telling him to pull over. The driver reportedly reached speeds up to 130 miles per hour shortly after, between St. Clair and Pemberton.

The Waseca County Sheriff's laid spike strips near Waldorf that punctured the fleeing vehicle's tires, Knutson said. But Zuehlke reportedly continued into Waseca County and into a cornfield just south of Highway 30.

The suspect got out of the vehicle and ran but was quickly apprehended in the muddy field, Knutson said.

Zuehlke is in the Blue Earth County Jail. Charges of vehicle theft and fleeing police are being recommended, according to the city press release.

The chase ended on Gary Bartelt's property. He wasn't home at the time but heard about it soon after and rushed home. The fleeing and pursuing vehicles “wrecked quite a bit of corn,” he said. He towed the stolen squad out of his field with his tractor.

“I'm surprised it made it in that far,” he said.

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