Man faces charges in high-speed A.L. chase

Published 10:00 am Sunday, September 11, 2016

Car reportedly narrowly avoids crash in Main St. intersection

A Fairmont man was charged with multiple felonies Thursday in Freeborn County District Court in connection to a high-speed chase Tuesday in Albert Lea.

Levi Dahl

Levi Dahl

Levi Troy Dahl, 21, faces two counts of criminal vehicular operation, one count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and one count of reckless driving.

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Dahl is charged in the chase that reached speeds of more than 60 mph, and resulted in a two-vehicle crash near the Freeborn County Government Center.

Squad video of the chase was shown in court Thursday in Dahl’s first appearance on the charges.

District Court Judge Steven Schwab set unconditional bail at $75,000.

Court documents state an Albert Lea police officer was heading east on Fountain Street Tuesday evening while on patrol when he noticed the driver of a Chevy Malibu matched the description of a suspect in a Faribault County burglary during which guns had been stolen.

The officer reportedly activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the vehicle, but the vehicle continued to drive very slowly and did not stop.

The chase allegedly accelerated when the Chevy turned south on Newton Avenue and drove through two stop signs on Newton without slowing down. Court documents state the vehicle crossed the intersection of Newton Avenue and Main Street against a red light, and “swerved dramatically to avoid a collision with a van in the intersection.”

The Chevy then reportedly collided with a vehicle parked facing north on the opposite side of the road, causing both vehicles to go over the curb, the sidewalk and into a municipal parking lot. Both vehicles sustained “significant front-end damage,” court documents state.

Before being transported to Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea, Dahl reportedly admitted to taking methamphetamine. Two hypodermic needles, a butane torch and a tin containing two small plastic bags and four cotton swabs were found in Dahl’s vehicle, court documents state.

One of the bags reportedly field-tested positive for meth.

A speedometer found frozen after the crash indicated the Chevy was traveling 64 mph at the time of the crash.

Court documents state after being transported to the hospital, Dahl told the officer he “was running from the officer to avoid going to jail.”

The passenger in the Chevy, Cheyenne Debra Goodhart, 20, of Fairmont, hit her head during the collision, and was treated and released at the hospital, court documents state. Goodhart reportedly had a large bruise on her face, and her eye was swollen shut.

Dahl’s next court appearance is scheduled for Sept. 22.

Fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle carries a maximum sentence of three years and one day in prison and a $5,000 fine.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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