LITCHFIELD — A 33-year-old Grove City man made his first court appearance Monday on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for allegedly fleeing in a dune buggy Saturday evening from a Meeker County sheriff’s deputy.
Jason Allen Paul also faces gross misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired. His bail was set at $6,000. His next appearance is June 19 in Meeker County District Court.
According to the complaint, the deputy was on patrol around 9:30 p.m. Saturday along County Road 3 near Manannah and saw a dune buggy on the roadway without headlights or taillights.
The deputy activated lights and sirens on the squad car to conduct a traffic stop on the buggy. The driver accelerated into the ditch and onto a nearby farm place. The pursuit continued around the farm buildings on the place until the dune buggy came around a silo and stopped because the patrol vehicle was in front of the buggy.
The driver, identified as Paul, showed signs of alcohol consumption and a preliminary breath test showed an alcohol content over the legal limit. He was arrested and a breath test at the county jail showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 percent. The threshold for impaired driving is 0.08 percent.
Paul has a prior conviction for driving while impaired in 2011.