Bench warrant issued for man charged in December pursuit

Travis Gregory Kadel, 57, faces two charges in Richland County, North Dakota: reckless endangerment and fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer.

A bench warrant was issued Monday, Feb. 22 for a Erhard, Minnesota, man who did not make his initial appearance before Richland County District Court.

Travis Gregory Kadel, 57, faces two charges in Richland County, North Dakota: reckless endangerment and fleeing or attempting to elude a peace officer. The charges, both class C felony-level, relate to a Dec. 21, 2020 incident which a criminal complaint states began in Fairmount, North Dakota, and ended in Wahpeton.

On Dec. 21, Kadel allegedly created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death to another, manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, according to the complaint.

The Richland County Sheriff’s Office’s chief deputy made contact with a male sleeping in a vehicle at the Cenex in Fairmount on Dec. 21, documents state. After conversing briefly, and the deputy identifying himself as such, Kadel allegedly took off in his vehicle. He was followed by the deputy.

“Eventually a marked car driven by another deputy took over the chase with lights and sirens,” documents continue. “Throughout this pursuit, the driver of the vehicle drove 70 miles per hour in residential and school zones in Fairmount, and then exceeded speeds of 85-90 miles per hour on Highway 127.”

Kadel allegedly both drove at excessive speeds and would cross Highway 127’s center line even when there was oncoming traffic, according to his criminal complaint. Once in Wahpeton, he allegedly continued to drive 70-80 miles per hour in residential areas, sped by a lineup of law enforcement vehicles that attempted to stop him as he entered the city, drove through stop signs and sped excessively in school zones.

“Once the driver came to a stop, he was identified as the defendant,” Kadel’s criminal complaint states.

Sheriff’s Deputy Gary Ruhl said the pursuit was initiated at approximately 8:20 a.m. on Dec. 21, Daily News previously reported. Kadel was the only person in the pursued vehicle.

The pursuit extended into Breckenridge, Minnesota, concluding along Minnesota State Highway 210, Daily News previously reported. No mention of an ending location was made in Kadel’s criminal complaint.

Law enforcement who responded on Dec. 21 included the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, Wahpeton Police Department, Breckenridge Police Department, Wilkin County Sheriff’s Office and Southeast Multi-County Agency (SEMCA) drug task force.

Kadel’s initial appearance before Richland County District Court was scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday. He was sent a notice to appear by using Zoom, Richland County Assistant State’s Attorney Casey Moen said. Kadel did not appear, so a bench warrant was issued.

Moen represents the state of North Dakota. Attorney Don Krassin has been retained to represent Kadel. Judge Bradley Cruff presides.

The maximum penalty for a class C felony in North Dakota is five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.

A booking photo for Kadel was not available Tuesday, Feb. 23. Officials from the Richland County Jail, Wahpeton, and the Wilkin County Jail, Breckenridge, Minnesota, said Kadel was never in custody at either location.

No further court appearances for Kadel have been scheduled as of Tuesday.

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