What started as a domestic dispute evolved into a road rage incident stretching from Pillager to Baxter, ending when an angry boyfriend rammed his girlfriend’s vehicle into a ditch on Highway 210.
The incident happened Sunday afternoon. On Tuesday, the suspect, Codey McDonald was charged with two felonies in connection with the incident.
According to the complainant filed against McDonald, law enforcement was made aware of the incident when a driving complaint was called in reporting a silver Honda was being chased by an older pickup truck, both traveling eastbound on Highway 210 at over 90 mph. Baxter police, Brainerd police, Crow Wing County sheriff’s deputies and Minnesota State Patrol troopers responded to the call at 2:45 p.m. Sunday.
Near the intersection of Highway 210 and Crow Wing County Road 48, the pickup rammed into the Honda, causing it to leave the roadway and go into the ditch, where it struck a fiberoptics utility box causing damage estimated to be in excess of $100,000, the complaint said. The Honda was able to get back onto the highway and continue eastbound on Highway 210 and the pick-up truck was observed to have turned around and gone westbound on Highway 210.
“The driver (of the Honda) kept driving through the ditch and returned onto Highway 210,” said a witness in an email to the Dispatch March 14. “We (my husband and I) thought the driver (of the Honda) was unconscious and we saw the airbags had deployed when they landed in the ditch. We found out the driver (of the Honda) was in fact not hurt but we followed them to try and help if we could.”
A trooper was able to locate the Honda at the intersection of Highways 210 and 371, where he spoke with the female driver, who explained that the driver of the pickup was McDonald, her boyfriend.
The female driver stated McDonald had assaulted her at their Pillager home and she fled the house in her vehicle in an attempt to get away. McDonald subsequently chased after her in his pickup. She said McDonald hit the back of her vehicle between Pillager and Baxter, at which point she increased her speed and began to pass other vehicles in an attempt to get away from him.
A second witness followed McDonald back to his Pillager home, where officers later found him hiding in the attic of his home. He was arrested and transported to the Crow Wing County Jail.
McDonald was charged in Crow Wing County District Court on two separate counts:
• Count 1 — Second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and $14,000 fine.
• Count 2 — First-degree damage to property with a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
McDonald is being held in the jail on a $7,500 bond with conditions and a $25,000 bond without conditions. His next court appearance is an omnibus hearing scheduled at 1:30 p.m. on April 9.
JESSI PIERCE may be reached at 855-5859 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/jessi_pierce (@jessi_pierce).