Deputy nearly run over by driver of suspicious vehicle; stolen m - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Deputy nearly run over by driver of suspicious vehicle; stolen mail recovered

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BYRON, Minn. (KTTC) -

A Byron man was arrested Saturday after an Olmsted County Sheriff's deputy said he was nearly run over by a driver trying to get away from a traffic stop.

Capt. Scott Behrns said Evan Alexander Prendez, 21, of Byron was taken into custody after deputies found the suspect vehicle outside of a residence in the 400 block of 4th Avenue Northeast in Byron.

“It is highly likely that he was involved in the theft of mail," said Behrns.  "They recovered a significant amount of mail in the vehicle.”

A deputy first responded at 2:30 a.m. Saturday to the 1500 block of Belvoir Lane NE in Byron after a resident reported a suspicious vehicle driving slowly, with the driver appearing to be checking out mailboxes.

When a deputy arrived on the scene, Behrns said he used his spotlight and announced himself but the driver then began backing toward him.

“If I didn’t get out of the way he was going to run me over,” the deputy reported.  A second deputy arrived and gave chase but Behrns said since they had gotten a plate number, it was decided to let the driver go and hunt for him later rather than endanger the public.  There is squad car video of the encounter, which is not being released.

At 7:44 a.m. the vehicle was found outside a residence on 4th Avenue NE and Prendez was taken into custody.  Behrns said Prendez admitted being the driver.  

Behrns said charges are being sought for Fleeing an Officer, a felony, along with Driving after Revocation, and possibly Reckless Driving.  It is up to the County Attorney's office to determine what charges to file in a criminal case.

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