Formal charges are pending against a 21-year-old man who led Farmington police on a chase, then physically attacked an officer Saturday morning.
Douglass Alan Schell Jr. was being held in the Dakota County jail on $75,000 bail and is facing possible charges including fleeing an officer, obstructing the legal process, fourth degree assault and driving after suspension.
Police aren't sure why Schell fled in the first place. According to Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist, officer Andrew Bellows spotted an truck leaving the back side of Akin Road Elementary School at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Bellows started after the vehicle, but when he tried to stop the truck, the driver decided not to stop.
Bellows followed the truck through the Charleswood development. It made several circles through the development before exiting back on to 195th Street West. The vehicle turned left onto 195th and headed toward Flagstaff Avenue. At Flagstaff, the truck turned left and traveled southbound to County Road 50. From there, it turned right and headed westbound toward Lakeville, crossing Cedar Avenue, Lindquist said.
Farmington police officer Gary Rutherford was waiting near the city limits, and two Lakeville police officers were not far behind. When the truck neared Lakeville, Rutherford was able to catch up to it. According to Lindquist, Rutherford used his squad car to strike the back end of the truck and force it into a spin. The driver lost control and came to a stop.
Shell then ran, but he didn't get far, Lindquist said. Bellows, Rutherford and the two Lakeville officers were able to catch him quickly.
"It was a very short foot pursuit," Lindquist said.
According to Lindquist, Schell was not drunk or otherwise impaired. Officers also found no suspicious items in the vehicle, or anything to indicate why he may have been behind the elementary school. The only reason police could speculate Schell fled was because his license was suspended.
Bellows took Schell into custody. Before taking Schell to the jail, Bellows brought him to the emergency room at Regina Medical Center hospital in Hastings to receive care for any injuries he might have sustained. After the ER doctor looked at Schell, Schell allegedly physically attacked Bellows in an attempt to escape.
According to Lindquist, Schell lunged at Bellows with both hands, striking the officer. He then ran for the door, which would not open. Bellows attempted to stop Schell. They fought for the next eight to 10 minutes, until a Minnesota State Trooper arrived to help control Schell.
Schell was then transported to the Dakota County jail. His first court appearance was scheduled for noon Tuesday. His bail was set at $75,000.