Man who led police on 14-mile chase in Wilkin County charged

Gabriel Gamez

A Minneapolis, Minnesota, man was arrested on Saturday, Oct. 10, after leading police on a 14-mile chase in Wilkin County. Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Barnesville Police Department aided Wilkin County Sheriff’s Department in the chase.

Gabriel Gamez, 35, was charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, a felony, receiving stolen property and traffic speeding exceeding the interstate limit of 70 mph. Gamez had his first appearance in court on Monday, Oct. 12, according to the criminal complaint.

At 2:44 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, Deputies Ryan Grant and Joseph Mattson of the Wilkin County Sheriff’s Office were driving behind a car traveling westbound on I-94. Deputy Mattson activated his radar and the car clocked in at 90 mph, 20 mph above the speed limit.

Deputies Mattson and Grant pulled the car over around mile marker 33, and identified the driver as Gamez, the complaint stated. Gamez was frequently touching his backpack and saw a butane torch in the center console, according to the complaint.

Earlier, another deputy from the sheriff’s office, Devin Lien, had trespassed Gamez from Rothsay Truck Stop due to suspicious activity.

Deputy Mattson asked Gamez to sit with him in his squad car as he checked Gamez’s driving status, but Gamez refused, the complaint stated. Deputy Grant stood by the car as Deputy Lien arrived at the scene to speak to Deputy Mattson.

After a few minutes, Gamez told Deputy Grant to “hurry up,” then put the car in drive, the complaint stated. Deputy Grant warned him to stop, but Gamez pulled away, accelerating to 30 mph. Deputies Mattson and Grant chased Gamez, who briefly pulled over to the shoulder, before resuming the chase at 50 mph, the complaint stated.

Barnesville Police Department deployed stop sticks around mile marker 26. The stop sticks deflated both the front tires and Gamez came to a stop near mile marker 24, the complaint stated.

Deputy Mattson instructed Gamez to turn off his car, roll down his window and open his door over loudspeaker, but Gamez began to drive again at 40 mph.

Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies deployed their stop sticks at mile marker 19, deflating one of the car’s back tires, but Gamez continued to drive, according to the complaint.

Deputy Mattson next tried a pursuit intervention technique that involved striking Gamez’s car with his own squad car. The maneuver successfully stopped Gamez, and he was arrested and transported to Wilkin County Jail, the complaint stated.

Deputy Lien searched the car and found a stolen North Dakota license plate, according to the complaint.

Gamez’s next court appearance is not yet scheduled.

The maximum penalty for felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle is no more than three years and one daty, or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.

The maximum penalty for misdemeanor receiving stolen property is no more than 90 days, or to payment of a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.

The maximum penalty for petty misdemeanor traffic speeding is a $300 fine.

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