A St. Paul man and his passenger were injured during a high-speed chase on Feb. 6 when the vehicle they were driving hit an icy patch at high speeds and rolled, investigators say.
Jeremy James Rodriguez, 29, faces one felony count of theft of a motor vehicle, one felony count of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and one gross misdemeanor count of criminal vehicular operation following the chase. If convicted on the theft charge, Rodriguez could face a maximum of five years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
An Eagan police officer tried to stop a vehicle around 2 a.m. on Feb. 6 after noticing the vehicle didn't have a front license plate, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Dakota County Attorney's Office.
Instead of stopping, police say the driver of the vehicle fled, making several turns before hitting speeds of 80 mph on a frontage road along Hwy. 13 in Eagan. At that point, police say the vehicle hit an icy patch and spun out of control, eventually going off the road and rolling at least one time.
Police arrested the driver, identified as Rodriguez, as he exited from the vehicle, the complaint said. His passenger, a woman, had back, chest and neck pain, blood on her face and difficulty breathing. Both were transported to Regions Hospital for treatment.
Police interviewed Rodriguez' passenger at the hospital, and learned that Rodriguez allegedly picked her up 30 minutes before the chase. The woman told police that she saw the squad car with lights pursuing them, but heard Rodrigeuz make a comment about getting in a "high-speed chase", the complaint said.
An investigation revealed that the vehicle Rodriguez was driving at the time of the chase had been reported stolen on Jan. 24 by a Maplewood resident, the complaint said.