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

The incident began around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
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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.

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