VIRGINIA — A Virginia man is in custody after he repeatedly rammed a Minnesota State Patrol squad car with his pickup Saturday evening on U.S. Highway 53 north of Virginia. The state trooper fired several shots at the driver during the incident; neither the driver of the pickup nor the trooper were injured.
The suspect, Kevin Michael Korte, 33, was booked into the St. Louis County Jail on multiple charges, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said in a statement Sunday evening. He will be formally charged this week. Once the suspect has been formally charged additional information on the incident will be released.
No one was injured during the incident.
The trooper involved in the confrontation has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard State Patrol policy.
A State Patrol official said Sunday that the reason for a delay in release of details about the incident were due to policy of sending the report to the Twin Cities to be cleared there first.
The Department of Public Safety said the trooper responded to investigate a crash involving the pickup and a mailbox. As the trooper questioned the driver and a witness, the driver jumped back in his pickup and fled the scene.
As the trooper got back in his squad and pursued the pickup down a trail into a wooded area.
When the suspect saw that the trail was a dead end he stopped, put the
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truck in reverse, and allegedly rammed into the squad. He hit the squad hard enough that it would no longer operate, the DPS said.
At one point, scanner reports about 9 p.m. said the suspect was reportedly fleeing on two flat tires at about 60 mph.
The DPS said the trooper fired several shots through his windshield at the suspect as the suspect continued to ram and push the squad backwards. The driver was able to flee the scene.
A second trooper, responding to the calls for assistance, met the fleeing pickup and a pursuit developed southbound on Highway 53.
The DPS said that as the fleeing pickup entered Virginia’s northside, the trooper was assisted by squads from Virginia Police and the St. Louis Co. Sheriff’s Office in stopping the pickup and arresting the suspect.
The incident is under investigation by the State Patrol and the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office. The completed investigation will be forwarded to the St. Louis County Attorney’s Office.