At 5:17 p.m. Friday evening, Montevideo Police Department officers responded to theft alarms going off at Running’s on east Highway 7 in Montevideo.
At 5:17 p.m. Friday evening, Montevideo Police Department officers responded to theft alarms going off at Running’s on east Highway 7 in Montevideo. Steve Lopez, 28, of Willmar, was eventually arrested after leading officers on a high speed vehicle pursuit which lasted for approximately 13 minutes.
Dashcam video posted on Facebook by the MPD showed officers arriving on the scene in time to see a light colored mini-van race out of the parking lot. The suspect crossed Black Oak Ave. and drove into the parking lot of the Ambient Chiropractic office, then jumped a curb and drove on the lawn for a short ways before heading east on Black Oak Avenue.
The suspect then made a right turn onto County Road 15 with officers in pursuit. Shortly after as the suspect headed south of Montevideo, an officer can be heard saying that speeds had reached 100 mph.
The suspect was forced to swerve to avoid a collision at the intersection of County Road 15 and County Road 16 as a vehicle had pulled over on the right shoulder of the road. The suspect’s vehicle narrowly missed an oncoming vehicle that was forced to take the opposite shoulder.
The pursuit continued through Wegdahl and up the hill on the south side of Wegdahl. The suspect then turned north onto 20th Ave. SW and continued for a couple of miles until he turned left onto a gravel road that eventually led back to Wegdahl.
The suspect then turned right and headed north on County Road 15 for a couple of miles when he turned onto the bike path to avoid an oncoming patrol car.
Several law enforcement vehicles were involved and the suspect eventually abandoned his vehicle on the property of Denny Clark’s garage and proceeded to flee on foot. Officers apprehended the suspect a short time later.
This was Lopez’s second attempt at fleeing local law enforcement in a vehicle in the past five months. On October 22, 2017, Lopez had been seen by an ambulance crew returning to Montevideo. They reported a vehicle swerving all over the road and followed it until it pulled into the Walmart parking lot on east Highway 7.
Law enforcement attempted to stop Lopez, but he fled the scene and led officers on a multi-county, muti-agency, high speed pursuit. The chase came to an end in Swift county when Lopez drove into a ditch and he was arrested without further incident.
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