Driver hits squads, prompts chase ending in Edina crash, SWAT negotiation

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A St. Paul man is in custody after he slammed into Edina squad cars, led police on a chase and crashed into a fence Saturday morning. SWAT teams negotiated with the driver for hours, prompting the closure of the highway and nearby side streets.

According to Edina police, at 9:36 a.m., officers responded to a call from someone visiting Bredesen Park who reported two people sleeping inside a running vehicle. When they arrived, officers woke the two people up. The passenger got out of the car, while the driver "grew agitated," reversed the pickup truck and repeatedly rammed two squad cars to exit the park.

Officials pursued the driver as he headed from Olinger Boulevard to Vernon Avenue while going over 75 mph.

Then, while trying to exit Vernon onto southbound Highway 100, the driver lost control and hit a fence. He attempted to back up and then hit another squad car. Police pinned the pickup truck, but the driver refused to get out. He went on to threaten officers, saying he had a weapon.

The Crisis Negotiation and SWAT teams negotiated with the driver while Highway 100 was closed in both directions between Excelsior Boulevard and Highway 62. Vernon Avenue across Highway 100, Eden Avenue, Grange Road and Arcadia Avenue were also closed.

Negotiations ended around 2 p.m. when the driver voluntarily got out of the pickup and was taken into custody. The 48-year-old St. Paul man was initially charged with assault for ramming squad cars, fleeing police, and possession of a stolen auto.

Officials discovered the pickup truck was stolen from a lawn maintenance company back in January in Rosemount, Minn.

No one was injured in the incident.