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Police Beat: You can run, but you can't hide

A 22-year-old college student flagged for a traffic violation allegedly made a run for it. He may have panicked and forgotten he wasn't dressed for a subzero break away. He was with a female companion who also took her chances on foot.

The male student was slow to respond to an officer's attempts to pull him over on Main Street. He finally turned into a driveway at 702 S. Main St., got out and made a beeline going northeast, wearing only a T-shirt and shorts.

On the passenger side, the young woman, also a college student, did the same thing.

An officer in pursuit yelled, "Stop, police!" but the pair allegedly kept running, through woods and across the frozen South Fork river onto the UW-RF campus.

The woman was caught first, soon after the driver. Besides being poorly clothed for a late-night winter sprint, the man had lost a shoe.

Police describe him as freezing cold, with prickly burrs stuck to his shorts and shirt, and cuts to his exposed body from the romp through the woods.

The male student was later tested for alcohol use and cited for drunk driving. The 18-year-old woman with him was cited for underage drinking and obstruction.

Also in the last week River Falls police:

--Cited a 26-year-old rural River Falls man for drunk driving-3rd offense, driving while revoked, driving with a suspended registration, and warrants out of Bayfield and Barron counties at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The man was stopped in the 200 block of South Main Street for not having visible taillights. At the police station he later paid $684.50 to cover his outstanding warrants and avoid jail time, but then was given municipal citations totaling just under $1,100. Because this is his third drunk driving arrest, his case will be heard in Pierce County Circuit Court.

--Cited a 26-year-old local man for disorderly conduct at the public library last week Tuesday afternoon. The man found his girlfriend, who had just broken up with him, in the computer room and allegedly made a scene. The woman said she was fearful. A library patron went to get help. The suspect left before police arrived. During a follow-up investigation, the man was given a $177 fine, though he claimed he hadn't been disruptive or threatening in the library.

--Cited a 21-year-old local man for retail theft at EconoFoods Saturday night. The man, an employee, was reported for munching on potato fries while working in the deli. He later allegedly admitted to doing so on other occasions, but apologized and claimed the food he ate would have been tossed. Then he added: "I figured my work place wouldn't want me to starve." That apparently wasn't a concern, because not only was he given a $177 fine, but he will also be asked to pay $5 restitution to the store and was given a no-trespass notice.

For more, read Police Beat in the Jan. 13 print edition of the River Falls Journal.