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Charges filed against man who tried to flee police in RV

A Westbrook resident has been charged with felony counts of drug possession and attempting to flee a peace officer.

Gavel Court Crime

COTTONWOOD COUNTY — Sheppard Lawernce Robins-Priestley, 29, of Westbrook has been charged with two felony-level counts for drug possession and attempting to flee a peace officer, as well as misdemeanor-level obstruction for interfering with a peace officer.

On Oct. 6, the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office received a call concerning the sale of an RV and truck. According to the criminal complaint, the reporting party had sold an RV to Robins-Priestley, and was also attempting to sell a truck. The reporting party thought the truck was stolen because it did not have any plates, and contacted the police.

Police visited the reporting party's address in Storden, and observed Robins-Priestley coming in and out of the parked RV. The officer recognized Robins-Priestley and was aware he did not have a valid driver’s license. Robins-Priestley went back into the RV and began to drive off. The officer followed behind, at which point the officer noted there was only one working brake light.

The officer activated his emergency lights and Robins-Priestley reportedly turned onto U.S. 30 and pulled into a parking lot before exiting onto County Road 5. The officer activated his siren, but Robins-Priestly reportedly accelerated. He continued to travel at a high rate of speed through Storden, but turned around on Denmark Avenue and began to head through the city once again.

The accelerated speed caused the front right tire to come off the ground, almost rolling the RV over. Robins-Priestley crossed back over to U.S. 30, and shortly after, traveled into a parking lot and entered a soybean field before beginning to slow down.

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Robins-Priestley reportedly jumped from the RV and started to run across the field. The police officer cut him off with the squad car and pursued on foot, yelling at Robins-Priestly to stop. Another officer drove into the field and when Robins-Priestley attempted to go around the car, the first officer deployed his taser. Robins-Priestley fell to the ground, but was able to stand back up. The officer attempted to grab Robins-Priestley, who reportedly grabbed onto the officer’s vest and managed to unstrap the left side. The officer tased Robins-Priestley twice more.

Robins-Priestley stopped fighting and was placed in handcuffs.

Upon stating that he could not breathe, Robins-Priestley was transported to the Windom Area Hospital.

Police went into the RV and allegedly observed broken beer bottles and what appeared to be a meth pipe on the table. Police also reported finding a ziplock baggie, the contents of which tested positive for methamphetamine.

The felony drug possession charge carries a maximum five-year prison sentence if convicted, and/or a $10,000 fine. Robins-Priestley also faces a potential maximum three years in prison for attempting to flee a peace officer and/or a $5,000 fine, and one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine for the obstruction charge.

Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
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