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Frazee man gets jail for fleeing police

A Frazee man was sentenced Wednesday in Becker County District Court on a felony charge of fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, as well as two related gross misdemeanor counts of criminal vehicular operation and second-degree driving while intoxicated (DWI).

Douglas William Collins Jr., 22, of 36591 County Highway 36, Frazee, was given a stayed prison sentence on the felony charge, on conditions including completion of a 90-day jail sentence and up to five years of supervised probation. He was also fined $660 and ordered to pay $3,500 in restitution for damages. If he successfully completes probation the felony charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor conviction on his record.

On the criminal vehicular operation charge, he was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with 275 days stayed, and fined an additional $500, while on the DWI charge, he was also given a 365-day jail sentence, with 275 days stayed, and fined another $530. All three 90-day jail sentences are to be served concurrently.

Two additional counts, one for DWI and one for driving after license revocation, were dismissed at sentencing.

Collins was charged after being identified as the driver of a motor vehicle involved in a high-speed chase on the morning of June 28 that went through residential areas of Detroit Lakes.

According to the criminal complaint, a blue suspect vehicle that had fled from deputies near Vergas earlier that morning was spotted by an officer on West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes at around 11:07 a.m. Thursday. The officer observed the vehicle turning north onto Summit Avenue and proceeding at a high rate of speed.

When the officer attempted to catch up to the vehicle he was unable to do so, despite traveling at speeds exceeding 50 miles per hour. The vehicle was spotted again near the post office in Detroit Lakes, and the driver refused to stop the vehicle despite the fact that a deputy had activated the siren and flashing lights on his squad car during pursuit.

The ensuing chase exceeded speeds of 65 to 75 miles per hour, according to the complaint. The vehicle was later found stopped on North Street after the driver lost control and the vehicle hit the curb. The driver, identified by passengers in the vehicle as Collins, had fled the scene on foot. One of the passengers in the vehicle was taken by ambulance to the hospital after reporting severe pain in his back because of the accident.

Collins was later found lying on his side in the yard of a house on Central Avenue, where he was reportedly trying to hide beneath a tree branch. As he was being taken into custody, Collins reportedly said, "I was driving."

Officers observed that Collins' speech appeared to be slurred and he had blood shot, watery eyes; a strong odor of alcohol was also coming from him. After he was arrested and taken to jail, the results an Intoxilyzer test administered there showed that his blood alcohol was at .21. His license had also been revoked in March as the result of an impaired driving incident.