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Dangerous chase ends with Pipestone capture

PIPESTONE -- Sheriff Dan Delaney said a serious threat to public safety was averted in Pipestone County on Tuesday when law enforcement personnel were able to capture a 45-year-old Marshall man careening through the county in a high-speed chase.

After about a 45-mile chase that began in Marshall, Scott Armand Renneke was apprehended after slamming into an unattended Pipestone County squad car while traveling south on Minnesota 23, approximately two miles north of Pipestone. Renneke was listed in critical condition Wednesday at Avera-McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Delaney, who was in the primary pursuit vehicle, said charges are pending in Pipestone County and will, at minimum, involve first-degree assault and fleeing a police officer.

Renneke had fled from a hold at a Marshall mental health facility. Pipestone County authorities received a call at 3:13 p.m. Tuesday afternoon and were told that a high-speed chase was already in progress.

"This is the same time schools were letting out. We were very aware of that," Delaney said Wednesday morning. "We were diverting school bus traffic as well as other traffic away from Highway 23. The information we were hearing was that the suspect would take out anyone who got in his way."

Pipestone County then took up the task of assisting Lyon County and the Minnesota State Patrol in pursuit of Renneke.

"The primary thought during these types of situations is the safety of the public; the secondary thought is the safety of the suspect; the third thought is the safety of the officer," Delaney said. "It was a very successful ending. No one from the public was injured. No officers were injured. That was a very successful pursuit."

Delaney said the suspect entered Pipestone County on Minnesota 23 and at 3:29 p.m. drove through the first stop sticks applied by law enforcement. The sticks were first applied near Ruthton, where one of the tires on Renneke's vehicle was destroyed. The suspect's vehicle struck the rear end of Delaney's vehicle and continued south on Minnesota 23 at a high rate of speed.

At 3:45 p.m., the suspect struck a parked squad car, causing minor damage to both vehicles, and continued south at speeds of between 80 and 100 mph. Stop sticks were deployed again by Pipestone County Sheriff's deputies approximately two miles north of Pipestone.

"The attempt was to stop him before he reached the city limits of Pipestone," Delaney said.

Renneke drove through that location before striking an unattended and parked Pipestone County squad car. The suspect's vehicle and the squad car were totaled. A Minnesota State Patrol vehicle, also parked and unattended, was also hit and received heavy damage.

Both the state trooper and Pipestone County deputy sheriff were outside the vehicles and were able to stay clear of Renneke's car.

"They actually had to dive into the ditch to get away from the suspect's vehicle," Delaney said.

The Pipestone Ambulance was called to the scene, and Renneke was taken to Pipestone County Medical Center before being transferred to Avera-McKennan Hospital. The Pipestone Fire Department was also paged to help extricate the suspect from the vehicle.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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