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Man sentenced in 100-mph Woodbury DWI pursuit case

A northern Minnesota man accused of driving drunk and leading Woodbury police on a high-speed motorcycle chase last year was sentenced to six months in jail.

The motorcyclist, Cole John Crandell, 22, was convicted in November of first-degree DWI, a charge stemming from the Sept. 12, 2010, incident.

Washington County District Court Judge Richard Ilkka stayed a prison sentence of more than three years, provided Crandell abides the terms of his probation for five years.

Woodbury police were patrolling traffic at 1:01 a.m. Sept. 12, 2010, when an officer observed two motorcycles headed north on 494 between Valley Creek and Tamarack roads - one clocked at 74 mph, the other at 95 mph.

According to a criminal complaint, the officer activated his squad's emergency lights and began pursuing the faster motorcycle. The officer said the motorcyclist - later identified as Crandell - had been in a crouch position on the bike, then sat up, looked over his shoulder at the squad car, got back into his crouch and accelerated the motorcycle, according to the complaint.

"The motorcyclist increased speed to well in excess of 100 mph," the complaint states.

The officer sped up in an attempt to catch the suspect. As the motorcyclist approached the exit to eastbound Interstate 94, he moved over in an apparent attempt to exit, "but suddenly changed course and proceeded at a high rate of speed northbound on I-94 into a construction zone."

The suspect slowed at the construction zone, allowing the officer to catch up with him in Oakdale.

According to the complaint, the officer detected "a very strong odor" of alcohol coming from Crandell during the arrest. Crandell, of Akeley, Minn., refused all alcohol tests, the complaint states.

Police said his driver's license at the time was canceled due to a danger to public safety. His driving record indicated three prior alcohol-related driving offenses dating back to 2003, the complaint states.

In addition to the jail time, Crandell's sentence terms call for him to abstain from alcohol and drugs, complete chemical dependency and cognitive skills evaluations and to pay a $100 fine.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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