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Olivia, Minn., man pleads to felony for fleeing law through bean fields

WILLMAR --EMDASH-- Gregory Dean Roush, 44, of Olivia, pleaded guilty Monday to 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 last month.

As part of a plea agreement, a gross misdemeanor charge of driving after cancellation --EMDASH-- inimical to public safety will be dismissed. He will be sentenced Sept. 17.

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.

The vehicle pulled onto the highway behind the deputy and traveled at a slow speed. The deputy allowed the vehicle to pass him near the intersection with County Road 127 and then turned on the lights to make a traffic stop.

The vehicle slowed and the deputy was about to exit the squad car when the vehicle sped away.

The vehicle went onto a driveway, almost hit two people, and 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 approached the vehicle with his firearm drawn and pulled Roush out of the vehicle after Roush failed to comply with multiple commands. He threw his keys at the deputy and said, "I don't know why you are pulling me over. I didn't do anything wrong."

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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