Man pleads not guilty to charges stemming from six-mile chase

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, March 15, 2017


A man pleaded not guilty in Mower County District Court to charges he allegedly led police on a nearly 6-mile pursuit while he was possibly on a controlled substance and had a warrant out of his arrest.

Garret Wade Grassel, 38, appeared in court earlier this week for counts of felony fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, gross misdemeanor third-degree DWI — refusing to submit to a chemical test and four misdemeanors: fourth-degree DWI, driving with a canceled license, no proof of insurance and obstructing the legal process.

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According to court records, a Mower County deputy observed a 2006 Chevrolet HHR, driven by Grassel, cross the fog line several times on County Road 1 in Waltham Township at 11:15 p.m on March 2.

The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop, but the car kept going onto County Road 16, County Road 5 and finally Highway 30 in Dodge County. The ordeal went about 5.7 miles at speeds up to 58 mph in 55 mph zones.

Grassel had a large, sheathed knife, so the deputy ordered him to put his hands up and handcuffed him. The deputy seized four knives from his pockets.

After showing signs of being on a controlled substance, Grassel submitted to a preliminary Breathalyzer test and blew a 0.021.

However, he told the deputy he had not drank or done drugs.

He said he didn’t stop because he had a bad shoulder and nerve damage and didn’t see the squad lights or hear the siren.

Grassel did not have insurance and his license was canceled, but the deputy found he had two warrants out for his arrest. He was arrested and transported to the Mower County Jail.

He was previously convicted for feeling a police officer in a motor vehicle in 2012 in Faribault County and he has a felony burglary case in Mower County from last year.

In that case, Grassel and Melissa Gail Daily were arrested after they were found on a Dexter Farm with burglary tools. In that case, he pleaded not guilty to felony third-degree burglary, felony possession of burglary or theft tools and misdemeanor theft on March 17.

He is next due in court on May 1 for a trial.