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High speed chase ends in DWI arrest

By Staff | Nov 3, 2008

Troy Meleen

A high-speed chase early Sunday morning, Oct. 26, began in Blue Earth, went into Iowa and ended when the driver lost control and went into a ditch.

Troy Allen Meleen, 41, of Blue Earth was arrested and charged with third-degree DWI/refusal to test, three counts of making terroristic threats and fleeing a peace officer.

Speeds topped 100 mph as Meleen traveled south on Highway 169.

About eight miles into Iowa, Meleen made a U-turn and began backtracking north on Highway 169 before coming to a stop in a cornfield.

“It’s dangerous at any time. There were some cars on the road,” Police chief Dean Vereide says of the chase. Meleen appeared in Faribault County District Court on Monday and bail was set at $20,000 without conditions or $10,000 with conditions. Defense attorney Bill Grogin was appointed to represent Meleen.

On Thursday and Friday area law enforcement officers took a mandatory course to brush up on their defensive driving skills.

Around 6:10 a.m., Blue Earth police officer Jake Rupport responded to a report that the driver of a maroon Buick had staggered into his vehicle and failed to turn on the headlights.

A court complaint says Ruppert spotted the vehicle traveling “unusually slow” on Holland Street.

The driver of the car stopped at the intersection of Holland and Sixth streets, says the complaint, made a U-turn, drove over the curb onto the grass and continued traveling north.

When the squad car’s siren was turned on the high-speed pursuit began.

Meleen allegedly ran a stop sign at Ninth and Main streets and continued south on Main, traveling at 50 mph.

The complaint says Meleen’s car swerved several times from shoulder to shoulder while heading south on Highway 169.

During the chase, Ruppert tried to get the driver to stop.

“Pull over or you’re going to kill someone,” and “It’s not worth it,” the complaint says Ruppert told Meleen.

While heading north on Highway 169 Meleen was driving on the wrong side of the road, according to court papers.

“When they start coming at you, that’s when you really get scared,” says Vereide.

The police chief says he was about a half mile away when the car went into the west ditch at 450th Street and Highway 169; about four miles from the Minnesota border.

Deputies of the Faribault County Sheriff’s Department were called in to assist. In all, seven law officers were involved in the chase.

After going into the ditch, the complaint says Meleen ran into a cornfield and was later located by officers walking down the road.

When he wouldn’t cooperate with officers, deputy Scott Adams was forced to use a taser three times.

In police reports, Meleen’s speech was described as very slurred and he made several threatening statements to officers.

Meleen was transported by ambulance to United Hospital’s emergency room, where he told authorities he was going to cut their throats and kill them when released.

The complaint says he also threatened the doctor on duty.

Meleen was taken to a secure cell at the Martin County Jail.

The terroristic threats charges each carry a maximum of five years and a $10,000 fine.

Fleeing a peace officer has a maximum penalty of not more than three years and one day plus a $5,000 fine.

Third-degree DWI/refusal is punishable up to one year and a $3,000 fine.