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Bail set at $75,000 for Windom man who reportedly fled traffic stop

Kirst is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Nov. 7.

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WORTHINGTON — A Windom man is charged with substance- and traffic-related crimes after allegedly fleeing a traffic stop in Worthington.

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On Oct. 26, a Worthington Police Officer reportedly observed a vehicle traveling in the city of Worthington with non-functioning driver and passenger side brake lights. A traffic stop was initiated and the driver pulled over onto Interstate 90, near Humiston Ave.

According to the report, when the officer approached the vehicle, the driver quickly accelerated onto I-90 at speeds of approximately 90 to 100 miles per hour.

Dispatch was informed, and spike strips were deployed near the Rushmore exit, where the driver struck them. The vehicle reportedly continued to flee westbound, and briefly entered a ditch near Adrian, before exiting and continuing along I-90.

Spike strips were again deployed near Magnolia, at which time the vehicle appeared to be traveling on just metal rims, and came to a stop near mile marker 16.

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The driver, later identified as John Kirst, exited the vehicle and was handcuffed without incident. During a search of Kirst, officers located his wallet. After running Kirst’s information, officers learned his license was canceled, inimical to public safety.

Kirst is charged with a gross misdemeanor count of driving after cancellation, with a maximum sentence of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both.

A Ziploc baggie, which contained a crystal substance that later field-tested positive for methamphetamine was reportedly located inside Kirst’s vehicle.

Kirst faces felony charges of fifth-degree drug possession, third-degree controlled substance sale, and fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both for the controlled substance charge, and five years imprisonment and/or a $10,000 fine for the fifth-degree possession charge. Fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle carries a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine.

Conditional bail was set for Kirst at $75,000. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Nov. 7.

Note: This article is based on information reported by local law enforcement agencies. The Globe reminds readers that all individuals are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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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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