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Man pleads to fleeing, drunken driving charges for Willmar chase

WILLMAR — Aweys Hassan Yusuf, 38, of Willmar, pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and a misdemeanor charge of driving while impaired for leading law enforcement officers on a motor vehicle chase last month.

As part of a plea agreement, gross misdemeanor charges of driving while impaired and giving a false name to an officer and misdemeanor charges of driving without a valid license and property damage will be dismissed. He will be sentenced July 24 in Kandiyohi County District Court.

The charges were filed after May 17, when a Willmar police officer was called around 3:15 p.m. 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 refused 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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