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Naked or not, come out with your hands up

River Falls police officers chased a local 27-year-old man who appeared to be masturbating by the EconoFoods recycling bins last Tuesday around 1:30 a.m. The suspect took off and ran down the slope to Lake George through tangled underbrush. There he hid. This occurred after 1:30 a.m. last Tuesday.

A Pierce County sheriff's deputy and his dog were summoned. The suspect finally agreed to give up, but he wanted a blanket first to cover himself because he was without pants.

The officers' response: No, first come out with your hands up.

So crawling up the slope, naked from the waist down, wet from the water and complaining of cuts, the man emerged and claimed he was jumped by "mulatto people." Soon he changed that description, mentioning other minorities by name. He said they'd punched, beaten and deprived him of his pants.

Police didn't buy the story. The 27-year-old man's only injuries were some cuts that looked to be caused by his excursion downhill through the brush.

The man, who had also been drinking, was taken to jail. The case goes to the district attorney.

Last week police also:

--Arrested an 18-year-old city of River Falls man for drunk driving, felony fleeing, hit and run, and various other charges relating to a couple of incidents after 2 a.m. last Thursday.

The man had allegedly taken someone else's car, a 1953 Chevy, and smashed into a street sign on North Main Street before driving across the property of Dopkins Accounting, and going on. He left behind evidence - a hub cap trim ring.

Not long after, an officer tried to pull the man's car over for having a headlight out. That led briefly to a high-speed chase on Park Street, then Bartosh Lane before the officer slowed and turned off his siren. The driver continued, running a stop sign at Bartosh and Foster Street, before crossing the road, hitting a tree, some bushes and then the side of a townhouse at 1164 Bartosh Lane.

The driver got out and ran. Two passengers were left behind. One, an 18-year-old local man was found unresponsive and intoxicated in the backseat. The second, a 17-year-old Prescott girl, first denied riding in the speeding car but then admitted she had and that the 18-year-old in the backseat was her boyfriend. She was given an underage drinking fine. The 18-year-old male passenger was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Once police established the driver's identity, they went to his mother's house on West Division Street. They found the suspect in his room. He denied any knowledge of the chase or the crash.

The old Chevy belongs to a 56-year-old man who lives in the same home as the suspect. It was established that the suspect had returned home around 3:30 a.m. Police tested him for alcohol use. He was then arrested and ended up in county jail in Ellsworth.

The 18-year-old driver piled up municipal fines exceeding $1,000. Felony charges are pending with the district attorney.

For more, please read Police Beat in the Aug. 4 print edition of the River Falls Journal.