• 34°

Suspect in high-speed chase pleads not guilty

A rural Austin man accused of leading authorities on a high-speed chase last month pleaded not guilty to several felony charges Thursday.

Nathan Paul Brooks, 20, who was on probation at the time of the incident, faces charges of felony DWI and fleeing a police officer, as well as a lesser count of driving after cancellation. He is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing May 21, at which he could decide to change his plea and accept a deal, or continue on to trial in June.

According to a police report, the pursuit began at the intersection of 540th Avenue and 243rd Street in rural Austin at about 3 a.m. on March 25 after a police officer saw Brooks approach a stop at a very high speed.

The officer attempted to pull Brooks over in front of the nearby Cedar Crest Apartments, but Brooks accelerated through the building’s parking lot. He then proceeded to go through several yards, weaving through large oak trees in the process.

Eventually, Brooks ended up on northbound Highway 218, going about 100 mph. Authorities continued to pursue Brooks, who turned west on Highway 251 toward Hollandale. At this point, he was going about 110 mph, the report states.

As he continued into Hollandale, Freeborn County deputies put out spike strips, and Brooks ended up driving over one. With his tires popped, he continued at a high rate of speed into Hollandale, turning south on Hague Avenue. However, with smoke billowing from his front right tire, Brooks’ car came to a stop on Hague Avenue.

He then attempted to resist arrest upon exiting the vehicle, but several officers wrestled him to the ground and took him to jail.

At the time he was apprehended, Brooks recorded a 0.14 blood-alcohol content — nearly twice the legal limit.