Another local dirtbag in training to be Billy Bad ass. Kudos to the LEO’S that ended this without injury to anyone. Nice catch.

Suspect charged after high-speed pursuit on I-35
By News Tribune Today at 5:11 p.m.


Austin Blake Gross

A 19-year-old Cloquet man is scheduled to appear in court today on charges stemming from his alleged involvement in a high-speed police pursuit on Interstate 35 between Proctor and Cloquet on Tuesday night.

Austin Blake Gross faces a felony count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and misdemeanor counts of fleeing on foot and driving without a valid driver’s license.

According to the criminal complaint:

At about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities were notified that a Chevrolet Impala had been stolen from a gas station on 27th Avenue West in Duluth, and was southbound on Interstate 35.

A Minnesota state trooper positioned his squad on the Cody Street on-ramp to I-35, and about a minute later spotted a car matching the suspect vehicle’s description, “visibly speeding” south on the interstate. The trooper confirmed it was the vehicle that was reported stolen, and began following it.

The Impala’s speed increased to about 80 mph south of the Boundary Avenue exit, the trooper reported. When the trooper activated his emergency lights about a half-mile south of Boundary Avenue, the Impala’s speed increased to between 90 and 104 mph and stayed near 100 mph for several minutes.

Carlton County sheriff’s deputies joined the pursuit at the Esko exit and deployed stop sticks near the Scanlon exit. The Impala hit the stop sticks, rupturing its front driver’s side tire, but continued on to exit the freeway onto northbound State Highway 33 into Cloquet. A News Tribune employee who witnessed the pursuit reported that the car was trailing sparks as it traveled on Highway 33 and then turned west on Big Lake Road.

The vehicle entered a residential area on the Fond du Lac Reservation and stopped before the driver — identified as Gross — fled on foot.

Officers chased the suspect on foot for about 150 meters before he was taken into custody.

Gross was being held at the St. Louis County Jail on Thursday, pending his first appearance in State District Court today. He faces up to three years in jail and a $5,000 fine if convicted on the most serious charge.

Court records indicate that Gross was convicted last year of fleeing a police officer, and currently is facing a separate charge of motor vehicle theft in Carlton County.

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