Duluth police chief recounts officers' 'dangerous' encounter with fugitive

The incident began around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Publish date:
Screen Shot 2021-02-18 at 7.17.42 AM

Two police officers were hospitalized and treated for minor injuries after a run-in with an individual described as a "fugitive." 

The incident happened Wednesday around 11:30 a.m., according to Duluth Police Department Chief Mike Tusken, who described the encounter as a prime example of the "unpredictability of human behavior." 

Tusken said officers from the Duluth and Superior police departments were attempting to detain a fugitive with multiple arrest warrants when the situation went from "good planning and safe staffing" to "chaos in a moment." Tusken wrote: 

"The suspect fled the scene in a vehicle and a DPD Sergeant/Lake Superior Violent Crimes Task Force officer took cover behind a garage to a place where he thought he was safe –  until the suspect drove through the garage throwing a cascade of garage parts upon him as he scrambled for cover."

"The suspect continued to flee the scene and came upon a second DPD Investigator/Lake Superior Violent Crimes Task Force officer seated in his car and rammed the officers car in his path of flight."

The suspect was ultimately arrested near Interstate 35 and 40th Avenue West, but not before the officer taking cover behind the garage and the officer whose squad car was rammed were injured. 

Tusken said they "are counting our blessings" that both officers only sustained minor injuries. 

The suspect is being held in the St. Louis County Jail on pending charges of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, second-degree sale of cocaine, second-degree possession of methamphetamine and cocaine, in addition to crimes for possession of ammunition and fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle. 

According to Fox 21, the incident began on the 2000 block of Hammond Avenue and was one of two police pursuits in Duluth on Wednesday. 

Note: The details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.

Latest forecast from Novak Weather

Next Up


Gov. Tim Walz to announce COVID vaccine next steps on Tuesday

Minnesota is nearing the 70% vaccinated target for over-65s.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 2.44.41 PM

Charges: Minnesota man killed his father with hammer, knife

The 44-year-old admitted to killing his father, court documents say.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Staying home: Gopher football lands 6'7'' football recruit

The offensive lineman is a star player in southwest Minnesota.

Ambulance hospital emergency

Teen worker dies after being shocked at Vikings apartment site

Aaron Welle, 18, of Holdingford, died from his injuries.

teacher, coronavirus, covid-19, school, classroom

90% of MN schools now offer in-person learning, 55% of teachers vaccinated

Gov. Tim Walz had set March 8 as the date for when schools would be expected to offer in-person learning.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 8.12.13 AM

Catholic school employee allegedly had 'inappropriate physical contact' with student

The employee is currently on leave pending an MPD investigation.

covid-19, vaccine

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can be together indoors without masks

The CDC on Monday released new guidance for fully vaccinated people.

covid saliva test

MDH to open new COVID testing site in Carver Co. amid B117 variant outbreak

It comes amid an outbreak among younger people in the southwest metro county.

radio station, microphone

KFAN's Paul Allen recounts 'harrowing' fatigue from COVID-19

Paul Allen said he experienced extreme fatigue after testing positive.

Screen Shot 2021-03-08 at 9.41.43 AM

Derailed train in Plymouth was carrying molten sulfur

No unusual air quality readings have been reported in the area.


police lights

2 police officers injured by fleeing driver in north Minneapolis

The incident started at around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Duluth police

Duluth officer survives being dragged at high rate of speed

The officer was responding to a report of people trying to break into vehicles.

Screen Shot 2020-08-04 at 9.04.01 AM

Video shows officer hit by impaired driver in Duluth

The officer was fortunate to avoid serious injury.

Screen Shot 2020-05-28 at 12.44.58 PM

Police respond to looters rushing Target, other stores in St. Paul

50-60 people were looting Target around 11:30 a.m.