Grand Meadow man pleads not guilty after fleeing police

Published 9:09 am Friday, March 4, 2016

A man pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge of allegedly fleeing a police officer at high speeds after an officer saw them possibly racing.

Carl Alan Nielsen, 54, of Grand Meadow, was charged with one charge of felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and one charge of misdemeanor uninsured vehicle. Nielsen pleaded not guilty to both charges, and the misdemeanor charge was later dismissed.

On Feb. 21, 2016 at about 5:54 p.m., a Mower County Sheriff’s Office deputy was patrolling the area of County Road 1 and 790th Avenue in Racine Township when the deputy observed a 1997 Chevrolet Tahoe driving east at a high rate of speed, according to the complaint.

Email newsletter signup

The Tahoe was clocked at 72 mph in a 55 mph zone. As the Chevy came closer to the squad car, the deputy saw a Dodge Ram truck following the Chevy as though the two vehicles were racing. The deputy turned east on County Road 1 and attempted to stop both vehicles.

As they approached Mower-Fillmore Road, the Dodge turned south and came to a stop. The Chevy continued east into Fillmore County at a high rate of speed. It was then clocked at 87 mph on Fillmore County Road 476, a gravel road.

The Chevy continued driving and turned south and continued on Fillmore County Road 476 until it came to 280th Street and turned west. They came to Mower-FIllmore Road again and turned south. The Chevy then turned west on 270th Street in Frankford Township and finally came to a stop after 5.2 miles.

The driver, later identified as Nielsen, got out of the car and the deputy ordered him to the ground. He complied and the deputy told a female who was a passenger to stay in the vehicle with her hands up. Nielsen was arrested.

When asked why he fled, Nielsen said he had just consumed five beers and afraid he “would get a DWI.” Nielsen told the deputy he owned the Chevy, but it was still registered to Rube’s Auto and the tabs expired in 2014, and there was no proof of insurance in the vehicle.

The deputy also detected a moderate odor of alcohol on Nielsen’s breath and had him perform several field sobriety tests, three of which he failed and one he passed. Nielsen had a .03 BAC level after a breath sample at the Mower County Jail.