Man in custody after allegedly assaulting a man, stealing two vehicles and fleeing across several counties

A Columbia Heights man is accused of committing a serious assault on another man in Starbuck early Saturday and stealing two vehicles and fleeing into several counties to avoid arrest. He was arrested in Ottertail County.

Stock art of red and blue emergency lights atop a police vehicle.
We are part of The Trust Project.

STARBUCK — A man was seriously injured after he was assaulted with a weapon early Saturday in Starbuck. The suspect in the assault stole two vehicles and fled through several counties before he was arrested.

More Crime:
A 50-year-old Red Wing woman has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder related to leaving her new born infant boy in the Lake Pepin as part of a plea deal.
The man's death is suspected to be from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The infant's death is under investigation as a homicide.
Officials are expected to release bodycam footage of the traffic stop on Friday.

According to a news release from the Starbuck Police Department, the man was taken to Glacial Ridge Hospital and then airlifted to Hennepin County Medical Center where he remains hospitalized. The release does not provide information about the victim, his injuries or the weapon used in the assault.

The assault occurred at the Lakes Area Inn Hotel in Starbuck.

The suspect, a 41-year-old man from Columbia Heights, fled on foot before law enforcement arrived.


Officers searched for the suspect for several hours in the city of Starbuck. During the search, the Pope County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a stolen vehicle just outside Starbuck.


The suspect drove the white Chevrolet truck pulling a boat trailer into Grant County. He abandoned the truck in a Grant County cornfield and stole another vehicle in the city of Elbow Lake. A witness saw him steal that vehicle and followed it until law enforcement arrived.

The suspect fled from law enforcement in the vehicle and was later apprehended by the Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office and is in the Ottertail County Jail.

He is awaiting a court appearance on charges of first-degree assault, fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and motor vehicle theft.

Agencies that also responded to the incident included Glenwood Police Department, Pope County Sheriff’s Office, Glacial Ridge Ambulance, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Ottertail County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Locator map of Lakes Area Inn in Starbuck, Minnesota.
Locator map of Lakes Area Inn in Starbuck, Minnesota.<br/>
Google Maps

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "West Central Tribune staff report." Often, the "West Central Tribune staff report" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

The West Central Tribune newsroom can be reached via email: or phone 320-235-1150.
What To Read Next
In split 5-2 votes, Willmar City Council approved accepting a grant to construct an outdoor fitness court and applying for an Age-Friendly Minnesota Community grant.
The administration is bringing back an Obama-era decision, later reversed by Trump, that bans new mineral leases on 225,500 acres of the Superior National Forest for the next two decades.
A 15-year-old male suffered what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries after a crash reported Wednesday night to the Minnesota State Patrol. The driver, a 19-year-old male, was not injured.
Sticker shock over the estimated cost to replace the 1967 office of the Yellow Medicine County Highway Department — construction costs are estimated at $295 per square foot — have led the County Board to move cautiously.