Man in court for law enforcement on 30-minute chase, has long conviction history

Published 6:39 pm Monday, March 20, 2023

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An Austin man with a long history of driving after cancellation and fleeing police was back in court.

Weston William Zuehl, 40, was in Mower County District Court for an initial appearance Monday and faces a single felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, a gross misdemeanor for driving after cancellation – inimical to public safety along with a misdemeanor for fleeing a peace officer by means other than a vehicle and two petty misdemeanors — failure to stop at a stop sign and traffic regulation-registration/permit/plates required.

According to the court complaint, Zuehl led law enforcement on a nearly 30-minute chase on the night of March 8, at around 8:20 p.m., that covered 15 miles and veered into both Iowa and Freeborn County.

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The chase started when a Mower County Sheriff’s Office deputy attempted to stop the vehicle Zuele was driving, a red 2013 Red Hyundai Elantra, after observing it go through a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 105 and County Road 6. 

The complaint goes on to say that after initiating the pursuit, Zuehl allegedly failed to stop and increased speeds to between 70 and 95 mph on rural county roads.

The deputy then observed brake lights while on 140th street, east of 855th Avenue in a field. The car was unoccupied, however, deputies and troopers from the Minnesota State Patrol observed fresh footprints in the snow. After following them, Zuehl was discovered lying face down in the snow against a barbed wire fence where he was taken into custody. 

It was then discovered that the vehicle had license plates that had been expired since February of 2019.

A review of Zeuhl’s criminal history reflects 11 convictions of driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety and fleeing police officers in Mower, Freeborn and Steele counties dating back to October of 2014.

Zuehl’s next court appearance is a pre-trial hearing on July 21.