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Arson suspect arrested

July 3, 2010
Antonio Acosta
A high-speed chase covering some 35 miles Wednesday night resulted in the arrest of a 31-year-old Delavan man.

According to the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office, Bryan Douglas Lempkie telephoned dispatch around 3:15 p.m. saying he was upset his former girlfriend had left the state with the couple’s child.

Two hours later, Lempkie called authorities again.

“He said, ‘I lit my house on fire and I’m taking off in my big truck,’” says Chief Deputy Scott Adams.

Authorities received a call from a concerned citizen with information that Lempkie was traveling south on County Road 13.

At that point, six deputies were dispatched toward Delavan in search of Lempkie, who was driving a semi-tractor.

Adams says deputy Todd Duit spotted the truck on Highway 16, heading west toward Blue Earth. At the intersection of Highway 169, Lempkie headed south toward Elmore.

Adams says Blue Earth police officer Melissa Felin joined the pursuit at that time.

“Speeds reached 95 miles per hour into Iowa. Deputies had contact with him during the chase and he stated he had a weapon,” Adams says.

Authorities say Lempkie turned onto Highway 9 and headed east for three miles before turning on a gravel road heading north toward Blue Earth.

Adams says Lempkie voluntarily stopped his vehicle in the middle of 30th Street.

He says officials were able to make contact with Lempkie and talk him out of the truck. He was taken into custody without any incident.

As normal procedure, Lempkie was transported to United Hospital in Blue Earth, where a blood sample was taken.

Adams says Lempkie was airlifted to a Rochester hospital and as of Thursday, deputies take shifts standing guard outside his room.

Charges are pending, but Adams says Lempkie could be charged with first-degree arson, driving under the influence and fleeing a police officer.

Adams says County Attorney Brian Roverud will determine if any additional charges will be filed.

Assisting were the Blue Earth, Buffalo Center and Elmore police departments, Delavan and Winnebago fire departments, Delavan First Responders, Winnebago Ambulance and State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Article Photos

This house in Delavan was engulfed in flames when firemen arrived Wednesday evening.



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