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Charges: Drunk Driver Toppled Power Pole With Stolen Van, Ending High-Speed Pursuit

Kevin Charles Haugh

A man who allegedly toppled a power pole after leading police on a high-speed chase is now facing charges in two counties.

Court documents say Kevin Charles Haugh, 42, of Shakopee, stole the van from New Ulm Bus Lines used in the rural Nicollet County pursuit last week.  Haugh’s erratic driving caught the attention of other motorists Thursday afternoon when he crashed into a road closed sign at the intersection of county roads 12 & 21 near Courtland.

Officers caught up with Haugh on Nicollet County Rd 15 and attempted to stop the van, but Haugh led sheriff’s deputies on a chase that reached speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.

Deputies attempted a maneuver with two squad cars in an attempt to get Haugh to slow down, but Haugh increased his speed and careened into the ditch, where the van struck a large power pole and severed it at the base.

Police say Haugh refused to listen to their commands to get out of the vehicle.  Officers had to direct Haugh away from the downed live power lines when he finally emerged from the vehicle.

Haugh was uncooperative, actively tried to avoid being handcuffed and allegedly refused a portable breath test.  Police say he smelled of alcohol and couldn’t keep his balance.  He was eventually transported to River’s Edge Hospital to check for injuries.

Court documents say Haugh reported he’d been discharged from the Brown County Detox Center the previous day after he’d had a blood-alcohol concentration of .50.  He allegedly also told the ambulance staff he had drunk 1.75 liter of vodka.

Haugh was charged Friday in Nicollet County Court with felony fleeing a police officer.  He also faces a number of misdemeanor charges, including driving after cancellation, obstructing the legal process, DWI, reckless driving, and more.

Haugh was also charged Monday in Brown County with auto theft and 3rd-degree burglary, both felonies.  The van allegedly stolen by Haugh had been locked in a shed when it was last seen at around 3 p.m. Thursday. The first complaint about Haugh’s driving was received by the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office less than two hours later. A bus company manager told investigators the lock had been bypassed.

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