3-county chase ends after 40 miles, PIT maneuver

PRINCETON – A suspect in a rural Princeton burglary remained in the Mille Lacs County Jail Tuesday, Feb. 14, after being apprehended in St. Cloud following a high-speed chase that spanned three counties and nearly 40 miles.
Joseph A. Evers, 39, of St. Cloud, was arrested early Saturday, Feb. 11, in St. Cloud after multiple law enforcement agencies executed a PIT maneuver, or precision immobilization technique, used to stop a vehicle, according to Princeton Police Chief Todd Frederick. The PIT maneuver occurred on Second Street South in St. Cloud near the south-side Wal-Mart store.
The incident began to unfold shortly after 5 a.m. on Feb. 11 when a suspicious 2000 Chevrolet van was reported in the vicinity of 10th Street and 115th Avenue, about a mile west of the Princeton Municipal Airport. Soon afterward, a Princeton police officer observed the vehicle in the area of 100th Avenue and 55th Street, in Long Siding. When the driver of the vehicle failed to signal a turn from 55th Street onto Highway 169, the officer activated the lights and siren of his squad car, according to a criminal complaint filed in Mille Lacs County District Court.
The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Evers, accelerated as he proceeded south on Highway 169. The officer pursued the vehicle.
The pursuit continued west on Highway 95 into Benton County, where the Princeton officer observed Evers fail to stop at the four-way intersection on Highway 95 and Highway 25 south of Foley at about 75 mph. The chase continued west on Highway 95 toward St. Cloud. Evers turned onto Highway 23, where he allegedly failed to stop at multiple red lights while traveling at speeds from 70-80 mph, the complaint states. He also passed through other unsignaled intersections at speeds of 90 mph, the complaint alleges. Evers also failed to stop at several stop signs. At the intersection of Highway 23 and 27th Avenue South, Evers allegedly crossed the median.
After reaching St. Cloud, Evers headed west on Division. He turned south onto 33rd Avenue and then onto Second Street South, where the Wal-Mart store is located.
Evers was taken into custody, as was Ahmed Nur, a passenger in the van who was wanted on outstanding warrants. A third passenger in the vehicle suffered minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. Evers was transported to Milaca and booked into the Mille Lacs County Jail.
On Monday, Feb. 13, Evers was charged in Mille Lacs County District Court with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and obstructing the legal process by interfering with a peace officer. Both charges are felonies. Evers was also charged with a misdemeanor count of reckless driving.