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Montevideo man facing felony charges after chase with Swift County deputy

BENSON — With three previous convictions for impaired driving, Jared Douglas Steen decided to attempt to outrun a Swift County sheriff’s deputy when signaled to stop for speeding in DeGraff, a criminal complaint filed in Swift County alleges.

Steen, 25, of Montevideo, now faces felony charges of fleeing a police officer, first-degree driving while impaired, and driving under the influence, as well as misdemeanor charges for speeding and open bottle violations.

Steen made his first court appearance Thursday in District Court in Benson. Bail was set at $50,000 unconditional, and $25,000 with conditions.

The criminal complaint charges that a sheriff’s deputy in a stationary squad vehicle signaled for Steen to pull over after the deputy’s radar recorded Steen going 39 miles per hour in a 30-mph speed zone in DeGraff around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The officer reported that the Chevrolet Monte Carlo slowed, but continued, taking various turns until leaving town and accelerating on Swift County Road 31.

A nine-mile, high-speed chase ensued, with speeds reaching 106 to 107 miles per hour. The officer reported that Steen was driving in the opposing driving lanes while taking curves on the roadway, according to the complaint.

Steen came to a stop and pulled over after crossing into Chippewa County on County Road 4. The officer observed he was drinking, and Steen placed an open bottle of beer down when exiting the car and lying on his stomach to be handcuffed.

Asked why he ran, Steen allegedly replied: “We were going pretty fast, weren’t we?’’ Asked again why he ran, he stated: “I have a couple of DWIs and I didn’t want another,’’ the complaint stated.

Steen refused a test for blood alcohol at the Swift County Jail, according to the complaint. The arresting officer reported that Steen had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol, and had slurred speech along with closed and open beer bottles in his vehicle at the time of the arrest.

Court records show Steen with three convictions for impaired driving in Chippewa County in the previous 10 years, according to the complaint.

Tom Cherveny

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

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