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Renville County, Minn., files attempted murder charges in cop chase

OLIVIA — Attempted first-degree murder charges were filed Tuesday in Renville County against a man who led law officers on a 38-mile, high-speed chase Monday afternoon in Renville and Redwood counties.

Brian Noel Hester, 46, of Redwood Falls, allegedly rammed his pickup truck into a squad car while an officer sat in it, as well as pointed it directly at another deputy who had to dive out of the way to avoid being hit, according to the criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

Hester will be arraigned Wednesday in District Court in Olivia on two counts of attempted murder in the first degree, two counts of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, and charges of fleeing a police officer, operating a motor vehicle under the influence and driving after cancellation. Hester is currently in custody in the Renville County Jail.

He was apprehended Monday in Redwood Falls when a State Patrol trooper executed a pursuit intervention maneuver to stop Hester’s pickup truck following a chase that began near Franklin and went through the city of Morton at speeds of 65 to 70 miles per hour, according to the complaint.

The criminal complaint charges that the chase began around 3:25 p.m. Monday near Renville County Road 5, north of state Highway 19. Renville County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Fick observed a red pickup with special series “whiskey” license plates, provisional plates commonly associated with impaired driving charges. Fick recognized the defendant, whose driver’s license was cancelled as inimical to public safety. The officer activated his lights, and Hester allegedly sped away.

The pursuit went through Morton at speeds of 65 to 70 miles per hour. It continued north at speeds up to 75 to 80 mph, before Hester drove into a field.

Olivia Police Officer Jason Krumheuer used his squad car to block the driveway entrance to the field. The pursuing officer reported seeing the defendant “square up his vehicle and then drive it directly into the front of Krumheuer’s squad, while the officer was still seated in it.’’

The impact pushed the vehicle, and Krumheuer exited the vehicle and joined Fick in pointing their service weapons at the defendant, ordering him to stop. Hester continued on and into Redwood County.

Two Redwood County sheriff’s deputies deployed stop sticks across County Road 1 and parked their squad cars on the shoulder. Hester then allegedly drove into the ditch and around the squads, and “directed and aimed his vehicle directly” at Redwood County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Schroepher. The deputy dove out of the way to avoid being struck.

The pursuit continued for another 10 miles and on state Highway 19, near the city of Redwood Falls, the defendant’s vehicle struck two sets of stop sticks, which deflated tires on the pickup. At the edge of Redwood Falls, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper used his vehicle to spin the defendant’s vehicle and stop it.

Hester was forcibly taken to the ground by officers and arrested. He was reported to have bloodshot and watery eyes, and an odor of alcohol. Two 12-packs and an open can of Michelob Golden Draft light beer were seen in the vehicle.

He was treated at the Redwood Area Hospital for injuries he reported suffering during the chase.

The complaint states that Hester has prior convictions for alcohol-related offenses, probation violations and felony convictions for domestic assault in the third degree and fleeing a police officer.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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