A Forest Lake man has been charged with leading police on an early-morning high-speed chase on Highway 100 that began in , ended in Brooklyn Park and reached speeds of 100 mph.
Mathew Erik Schwantes, 37, is charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, a felony with a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, signed by Minnesota State Patrol Trooper Daniel Dixon, a trooper was on patrol at about 3 a.m. June 28 on northbound Highway 100 near the Highway 55 intersection in Golden Valley when a car in the left lane passed him.
The trooper clocked the car going 80 mph in a 60 mph zone, and moved into the lane behind the car, turning on his emergency lights.
The driver of the suspect car, later identified as Schwantes, did not slow down or make any attempt to stop, according to the complaint.
The trooper turned on his siren, sent out a radio call for assistance and continued chasing Schwantes’ car in a pursuit that reached speeds of 100 mph and went through Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center before ending in Brooklyn Park, the complaint says.
Schwantes slowed down near the Brooklyn Boulevard exit, making it appear that he was going to leave the highway, but at the last minute he swerved back onto Highway 100, according to the complaint. He then cut across the road and exited at Humboldt Avenue, speeding through stop signs, according to Dixon’s account.
Eventually, when Brooklyn Park police backup units became visible near Brookdale Drive, Schwantes slowed down. Police used stop sticks, which deflated the front tires of Schwantes’ car and the left front tire on the state trooper’s car, but Schwantes continued driving toward Highway 252, slowed down to about 15 mph and finally stopped after the trooper used a pursuit intervention technique to disable his car.
A number of officers from the State Patrol and Brooklyn Park police converged on the scene and ordered Schwantes out of his car, but he refused, according to the complaint, struggling with officers who were trying to arrest him.
Schwantes’ blood-alcohol content registered .00, but police found two hypodermic needles in his car, according to the complaint. Schwantes told police that he used the needles to administer prescribed medications to himself.
Schwantes told police that he was returning to Forest Lake after driving to his wife’s place of employment, but said he hadn’t been able to contact her. Schwantes’ criminal record includes several arrests for domestic-related incidents, including one for violating a no-contact order.
He also told officers that the brakes on his car – which he said was a loaner from a dealership – were working properly, but that the gas pedal was moving on its own.
Schwantes is free on a $1,000 bond. An omnibus hearing in his case is scheduled Aug. 2 in Hennepin County District Court.