Willmar man charged for 100-mph run from law, claims accelerator stuck
WILLMAR -- Jose Mares III, 38, of Willmar, made his first appearance Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court on charges of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, driving while impaired, reckless driving and driving after revocation for allegedly running from the law at speeds over 100 mph Friday evening.
Unconditional bail was set at $12,000 and conditional release was allowed on his personal recognizance. His next appearance is May 4.
According to the complaint, around 11:30 p.m. Friday two Willmar police officers were along the 400 block of Lakeland Drive Southeast and observed a vehicle speeding between 60 and 70 mph in the 30-mph zone. Both gave pursuit and followed the vehicle north along Lakeland Drive, through the stoplight at U.S. Highway 12. One of the officers noted his vehicle speed at 100 mph during the pursuit.
The vehicle made an abrupt left turn onto 14th Avenue Northeast, but lost control of the car and struck a tree.
The driver ran away. Officers later found a man matching his description walking along Business Highway 71. He had a white powdery substance on his clothing that matched the substance emitted by an airbag deployment in a vehicle crash.
Mares denied driving. He was subjected to field sobriety tests, failed the tests and registered a 0.131 blood-alcohol level on a breath test.
He was arrested, taken to the Law Enforcement Center and tested a 0.08 blood-alcohol level there.
During an interview, he again claimed to not be driving the vehicle, then said he was driving and knew that officers were pursuing him. He claimed the accelerator was stuck and that he intentionally ran the car into the tree to stop it and then ran off because he was scared.
A review of Mares' record showed that his driver's license was revoked after an August 2008 conviction for driving while impaired, stemming from a July 2008 incident.