Cops chase fleeing driver, then save him from burning SUV

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A man who was fleeing police in the southeast metro area Saturday ended up being saved by those same officers when his vehicle caught fire, the South Washington County Bulletin reports.

A motorist called Cottage Grove police shortly after 1 p.m. to report that an SUV had hit a curb and run over a rock, and that the vehicle had a flat tire, according to police.

The vehicle began driving north on Highway 61. By the time an officer caught up with the driver, a tire on the SUV had shredded, but the driver would not pull over. He continued to drive at around 70 mph before turning the wrong way onto an exit ramp, the Bulletin reports.

At that point, there were flames coming from the underside of the SUV. The driver stopped and police rescued him from the burning car. They indicated he was intoxicated.

The Newport Fire Department put out the vehicle fire.

The man was taken to the Cottage Grove Police Department where he faces charges for DWI and felony fleeing.

Police said they couldn't immediately identify the man because his wallet and ID were burned in the vehicle fire, and "due to his intoxicated state" he was "not very cooperative," according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Police say the vehicle is registered in South Dakota.

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