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Bail set at $35,000 for man who allegedly fled police in Willmar chase

WILLMAR — Aweys Hassan Yusuf, 38, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Monday on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle for allegedly leading law enforcement officers on a motor vehicle chase Saturday afternoon in Willmar.

Unconditional bail was set at $35,000. His next appearance is June 2 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

Yusuf also faces gross misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired and giving a false name to an officer along with misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired, driving without a valid license and property damage.

According to the complaint, the incident began when a Willmar police officer was called around 3:15 p.m. Saturday to the Dairy Queen along First Street South, where several witnesses reported seeing a person driving a van into a Dumpster and a shed. While the officer was talking with the witnesses, the same van drove into the parking lot. The driver, later identified as Yusuf, looked the officer directly in the eye as the officer approached, then sped away, the complaint states.

The officer pursued, with lights and sirens activated on the squad car, as the van went through parking lots and onto Fifth Street, Willmar Avenue and Second Street Southeast before the officer and other officers finally got the vehicle to stop in the Cash Wise Foods parking lot.

The driver, who identified himself as Abdi Hassan Yusuf, refused to submit to breath tests for alcohol when he was arrested and also at the Law Enforcement Center.

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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