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Tuesday chase damages three Farmington squads

Farmington police implemented the Pursuit Intervention Technique to stop a high-speed chase Tuesday afternoon. The chase came to an end in Empire Township.

The Farmington Police Department is down three squads after a chase through downtown Farmington Tuesday afternoon.

Police were called to Rambling River Park early Tuesday afternoon, after an unidentified man called 911 and told dispatch he was in the park's east parking lot, armed with a weapon in his car. According to Farmington police chief Brian Lindquist, the man told dispatchers he had a gun in his trunk and a knife or a sword in his front seat.

"He said he had a gun in the trunk, and a sharp instrument in the front seat, and that his intent was to do harm to any police officers who responded," Lindquist said.

According to a complaint filed in the Dakota County Attorney's office, Armstrong demanded that four squad cars respond and said he planned to force police to kill him.

Two officers were initially dispatched to the east parking lot of Rambling River Park, where they found a man in a green Ford Taurus. Officers tried to make contact with the man by telephone, Lindquist said. They got through after making several calls and the man again made threats toward police, then cut off the connection.

Police set up a perimeter around the park, blocking off a portion of Elm Street. However, Lindquist said, "to block him in from leaving the parking lot would have put an officer in harrm's way. It was impossible to block him in."

After 10 to 12 minutes of sitting in the park with officers nearby, the man started his car and bolted from the parking lot, Lindquist said. He led police on a chase east on Elm Street, then turned to go north on Highway 3. The chase ended when Farmington police used the Pursuit Intervention Technique to stop the vehicle.

The PIT maneuver, though, means police have to hit a suspect's vehicle with their own. That resulted in three squads being struck by the Taurus before it came to a stop in an Empire Township neighborhood. One squad has significant damage, one moderate damage and one cosmetic damage, Lindquist said.

Police were able to apprehend the suspect, identified as 28-year-old Rosemount resident Patrick Christopher Armstrong, once the vehicles came to a stop. He was taken to Dakota County Jail, where he was booked Tuesday afternoon for fleeing an officer in a motor vehicle. He has since been charged with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and obstructing the legal process.

Armstrong resisted police when they tried to arrest him and ended up getting hit with a Taser. Police found a folding knife and a larger knife in his car and a small sword in the trunk. They also found an open bottle of whiskey on the front passenger floor.

Though the police department is down several vehicles for the time being, Lindquist is happy no one was hurt.

"As far as property loss goes, it was not a good day. As far as everybody coming out safe, it was a good day. The suspect was taken into custody and is safe and getting the help he needs," Lindquist said.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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