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Driver pleads guilty to role in chase

A rural Austin man who led authorities on a a high-speed chase in March that went through a few yards and ended in Hollandale pleaded guilty to DWI and fleeing a police officer Friday.

Nathan Paul Brooks, 20, who was on probation at the time of the incident, awaits sentencing on Aug. 20. As part of his plea, a driving after cancellation charge was dismissed.

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, 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.