Vehicle theft, high-speed chase leads to teen’s arrest

GFW school van reported stolen

RENVILLE COUNTY — A 17-year-old male suspect was arrested following a high-speed chase that led law enforcement from Fairfax to Franklin in the early-morning hours of May 5.

According to a Renville County Sheriff’s Office news release, a deputy was searching for a suspect in a fight reported in the 400 block of South Park Street at 12:05 a.m. when a vehicle was noticed that did not have its lights on and did not stop for stop signs. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver fled and a pursuit was initiated west of Fairfax on State Highway 19.

The suspect vehicle reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour and other dangerous driving behavior during the pursuit involving two sheriff’s deputies and Fairfax Police. The suspect ultimately crashed the vehicle while trying to negotiate a curve on Highway 19 in Franklin. He attempted to flee the crash scene on foot but was soon apprehended by a deputy.

The suspect was taken into custody and ultimately identified as the same suspect sought in the Fairfax fight. The vehicle involved, a 1999 Dodge van owned by the Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) School District, was stolen in Fairfax. The van was damaged in several areas.

The suspect was transported to the Renville County Hospital in Olivia for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. He is being held at the Prairie Lakes Youth Program in Willmar.

The suspect’s court status was not available from Renville County Court Administration on May 9.

The Minnesota State Patrol, Franklin Ambulance Service and North Memorial Ambulance Service assisted the Sheriff’s Office.