NEW: Vehicle pursuit in Big Stone County ends with armed standoff; arrest

April 18, 2023
Mike Tanner

ORTONVILLE, Minn.–One person is in custody following a motor vehicle pursuit and stand off that ended early this morning in Big Stone County.

Sheriff Mark Brown says it began around 10:30 last night when his office was alerted of a vehicle pursuit that was crossing the state line from Roberts County into Traverse County.

The pursuit involved a car that had fled from an attempted traffic stop. It eventually made its way into Big Stone County on Minnesota Highway 28, where spike strips were placed on the west edge of Graceville.

The car became disabled a mile east of Graceville where deputies conducted a felony stop.

The driver of the car remained in their vehicle, refusing to follow law enforcement commands.

Phone communication was eventually made with the driver, which led to confirmation the driver was armed.

After 90 minutes of negotiations, the driver surrendered and was taken to the Kandiyohi County Jail in Willmar.

A search of the car turned up a knife, syringe, and a small amount of a controlled substance.

Brown did not release the name of the person arrested.

The full news release from the sheriff’s office is posted below:

On 4/17/23 at approximately 10:27 pm the Big Stone County Sheriff’s Office was alerted to a motor vehicle pursuit that was entering Traverse County from Roberts County, SD. The pursuit involved a Nissan passenger car with unknown occupants that had fled from an attempted traffic stop. A short time later the pursuit passed through Browns Valley and entered Big Stone County on Hwy 28.

A Big Stone County deputy was able to place a spike strip on the west edge of Graceville and ultimately the vehicle became disabled approximately one mile east of Graceville. Deputies conducted a felony stop, which involves not approaching the vehicle and instead giving the occupants commands. During this time a call was received indicating the driver had a firearm. A passenger surrendered but refused to provide any information. The driver remained in the vehicle refusing to follow commands. Ultimately, a knife was displayed, and statements made indicating the desire for law enforcement to use deadly force. A mobile crisis team was requested to respond to the scene. For the safety of the public a WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) was issued to shelter in place and avoid travel to this area.

Phone communication was eventually established with the driver and led to the confirmation that the driver had a gun and knife. Approximately, an hour and half later the driver surrendered and was taken into custody. The driver was transported to the Kandiyohi County Jail where they will remain unnamed pending charges.

A search located a knife, syringe, and small amount of suspected controlled substance. No firearm was ever located.

Agencies that assisted were the Lac Qui Parle County Sheriff’s Office, Traverse County Sheriff’s Office, Wheaton Police Dept, Stevens County Sheriff’s Office, Benson Police K-9, Willmar SWAT, Mobile Crisis Team, Big Stone County Emergency Management, and Graceville Ambulance.

We would like to thank all our responding partners as this incident could have had a very different outcome. The response that was received provided the ability for incident command to have many options to resolve this incident without injury to anyone involved. We are truly grateful this incident resolved with everyone’s safety.