Driver rams squad car, crashes into building during police chase in Minneapolis: Charges

A 33-year-old man from South St. Paul faces felony charges after ramming into a squad car and crashing into several objects during a police chase in Minneapolis on Monday.

The criminal complaint states on Dec. 5, Minneapolis Police Officers saw 33-year-old Nicholas Neil Nikiforakis, who was wanted for several felony arrest warrants, driving near Hiawatha and 35th Street. 

Officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but Nikiforakis rammed into the squad car and drove away, the complaint states. The squad car was inoperable after the collision. 

Police started to pursue Nikiforakis until he crashed into a sign, fire hydrant and a building, court documents state. He ran away from the scene on foot but was taken into custody. 

According to court documents, officers had previous information that the 33-year-old had a firearm and searched his vehicle where they found a Glock handgun without a serial number and an extended magazine. A second loaded handgun was found in a bag in the backseat of the vehicle, the complaint states.

Officers allegedly found fentanyl pills and several small baggies of marijuana in the car's center console. During the arrest, police reportedly recovered fentanyl from Nikiforakis’ hoodie pocket, according to court documents. 

Nikiforakis was charged via warrant on Wednesday with third-degree drug possession, first-degree damage to public safety vehicle, fleeing police in a vehicle, fourth-degree assault of a police officer, and a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Thursday. 

Police say Nikiforakis has three active arrest warrants out of Ramsey County for a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, theft of a motor vehicle, and receiving stolen property. He also has a pending case in Hennepin County

The 33-year-old has two previous convictions for fleeing police in a car and a conviction for first-degree criminal damage to a public safety vehicle, in addition to others, according to court documents.