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Man arrested after allegedly fleeing crash scene

A man was arrested last week after allegedly running from a hit-and-run crash before eluding St. Croix County authorities for several hours.

St. Croix County Sheriff Scott Knudson said the man was arrested Wednesday, Sept. 6, after a resident in the 1500 block of 200th Avenue spotted a suspicious person in a field. Knudson said deputies responded and formed a perimeter.

The suspect was arrested and hospitalized — first at Westfields Hospital and later at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, where he was transferred. The suspect, a 20-year-old who in 2014 listed a New Richmond address, remained hospitalized early this week.

It wasn't clear what led to the hospitalization.

Knudson said officers will review possible hit and run, operating a motor vehicle without owner's consent and obstructing police charges before forwarding the case the St. Croix County District Attorney's Office.

The arrest concluded a search for the man that began just after 7 a.m. Sept. 6 when the crash was reported. Some town of Stanton residents were alerted by a mass notification system about the incident, which was reported after a two-vehicle crash on Highway 64 near 170th Street.

That led to a morning perimeter search, which included police dogs and an eye in the sky, that was eventually called off.

"Once we were able to confirm he wasn't part of a larger crime — just a stolen vehicle and the crash — we scaled back," Knudson said.

Knudson said the initial 911 call indicated the suspect got out and fled almost immediately after the crash occurred. He said no one was injured and that the suspect apologized to the other driver before fleeing the scene on foot.

"He just didn't want to have contact with the police today," Knudson said. "There is no indication that he is a continued threat to anyone in the community or anyone he comes across."

The vehicle was stolen in St. Paul, the sheriff said.

New Richmond police and the Wisconsin State Patrol aided in the search, along with a pilot in a private airplane.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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