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Man gets stayed prison sentence, fine for fleeing law through bean fields

WILLMAR — Gregory Dean Roush, 44, of Olivia, was sentenced Tuesday to 25 months in prison, which was stayed, 144 days in jail, four years of probation and a $1,000 fine on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for fleeing a Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s deputy through soybean fields near Atwater at speeds of 40 to 50 mph in July.

As part of his sentence handed down by District Judge Donald Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court, Roush was given credit for 144 days served in custody and ordered to follow the recommendations of a chemical use assessment and participate in a cognitive skills program.

As part of a previous plea agreement, a gross misdemeanor charge of driving after cancellation – inimical to public safety was dismissed.

The charges were filed after July 6, when the deputy was on patrol around 8:15 p.m. along U.S. Highway 12 and saw a vehicle stopped at the intersection with County Road 8.

The deputy ran the license plate through the public safety database and found that the registered owner of the vehicle had a suspended driver’s license.

When the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver slowed, but then sped away and onto a driveway, where the vehicle almost hit two people.

The vehicle then traveled into a soybean field at speeds of 45 to 50 mph before turning back onto the driveway, going over Highway 12 and into another soybean field on the south side of the roadway.

The deputy, who pursued with lights and sirens, estimated that the vehicle traveled 300 yards in the first bean field and between 500 and 600 yards in the second field. The pursuit ended when the vehicle got stuck in the ditch while attempting to get back onto Highway 12.

The deputy pulled Roush out of the vehicle after Roush failed to comply with multiple commands. Roush continued to not cooperate and was handcuffed by other responding deputies.

There were many unopened bottles of beer and an unopened bottle of liquor in the vehicle. Roush refused a preliminary breath test, but allowed another field sobriety test, which showed no clues of intoxication.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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