Man charged with leading police on chase in stolen car
A man was charged Monday in Freeborn County District Court for reportedly leading authorities on a high-speed chase in a car stolen from the Walgreens parking lot in Albert Lea.
Brandon James Marquardt, 33, who stated he is homeless, faces charges of felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and felony receiving stolen property.
Marquardt was arrested after officers were dispatched at 7:50 p.m. Friday to Walgreens, 703 E. Main St., for a report of a woman who had her purse and phone taken from her work locker at the store. Her 2004 Buick LeSabre had also been taken from the business parking lot.
While taking the stolen vehicle report, another officer located the car a short distance away at McDonald’s at 609 E. Main St. Officers reportedly approached the car and spoke with the lone male driver in the car, who appeared to be intoxicated, police said. An open container of alcohol was on the passenger floor.
The man allegedly refused commands to unlock the car and rolled up the windows of the vehicle, before driving across the grass and westbound on Clark Street before turning onto Newton and then East Main Street. He reportedly drove through two stop signs downtown and was weaving through cars.
Officers pursued the car down East Main Street onto northbound Interstate 35 at speeds of over 100 mph.
Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office deputies joined the pursuit, which traveled into Steele County.
There, Steele County Sheriff’s Office deputies deployed a tire deflation device near the Ellendale exit of the interstate, which spiked one of the tires.
The car then continued northbound between 70 and 80 mph, after which a deputy initiated a pursuit intervention technique maneuver on the car near mile marker 30. The car then spun out of control into the center median.
Marquardt then reportedly fled across the interstate and into the cornfield west of the interstate, where he was captured a short time later by an Albert Lea officer.
Slight damage was reported to the Freeborn County squad and the stolen vehicle.
The Minnesota State Patrol also assisted on the scene.
Freeborn County District Court Judge Steve Schwab ordered bail be set at $50,000 with conditions. Conditions included not making contact with the victim, not being in Walgreens or within 300 feet of the property and checking in with court services three times per week, among others.
See what happened last night in the PM report here.