Details released about arrest of man who later killed himself in Hibbing lockup
A State Patrol trooper had to use a Taser to subdue a rural Duluth man who had just rolled his pickup after a short chase early Sunday; the man later killed himself in the St. Louis County lockup facility in Hibbing, officials said.
According to State Patrol Lt. Eric Roeske, a trooper stopped the pickup truck Shane Ervin Fischer was driving about a mile south of Chisholm on U.S. Highway 169 because of a defective taillight. As he talked to Fischer and a female passenger through the open driver-side window, the trooper detected signs of alcohol impairment in Fischer. During the conversation, Fischer put the truck into gear and fled. The trooper ran back to his squad and pursued the vehicle toward Chisholm.
After about one-half mile, Fischer took the Chisholm exit, lost control of the pickup, slid into the ditch and rolled. Fischer left the vehicle and did not obey the trooper's commands, Roeske said. A physical struggle ensued, and the trooper used his Taser to subdue Fischer and arrest him. The trooper suffered minor injuries during the struggle.
Fischer refused medical treatment. He was booked into the Hibbing lockup at 2:13 a.m. on five felony charges -- attempted first- and fourth-degree assault of a police officer, attempt to disarm a police officer, fleeing in a motor vehicle and first-degree DWI test refusal -- as well as driving after cancellation and for outstanding arrest warrants.
Fischer's passenger was not arrested.
Authorities said Fischer apparently committed suicide, using a bed sheet, shortly after lockup staff performed a routine welfare check. He was found unresponsive about 15 minutes later as staff members began delivering breakfast. Hibbing Fire and Ambulance was called shortly after 7 a.m. Efforts to revive Fischer failed, and he died. An autopsy confirmed that the cause of death was asphyxiation, St. Louis County Undersheriff Dave Phillips said.
The county has notified the state Department of Corrections of the death, and the department will investigate to ensure that all procedures and regulations were followed.