A Perham man is facing felony charges after a pedestrian was injured by a hit-and-run driver Monday near the Detroit Lakes Community Center.
Julius Jermaine Federick, 30, of Perham has been charged in Becker County District Court with two felony counts of criminal vehicular operation, felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, and misdemeanor not stopping after a collision.
According to court records, shortly after 5 p.m. on April 12, a silver car hit a pedestrian at the corner of Summit Avenue and Holmes Street and left the scene at a high rate of speed.
"We had several eyewitnesses to the incident and they provided a very detailed description of the vehicle," said Detroit Lakes Police Chief Steve Todd.
When the first Detroit Lakes police officer arrived, the victim, a 60-year-old Detroit Lakes woman, was lying on her left side, blood coming from the left side of her face. She said she was on the southwest corner and starting to cross the intersection on foot when the silver car struck her and took off. She was taken to Essentia St. Mary’s Hospital, where she was treated for a fractured pelvis and fractured arm.
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A short time later, another Detroit Lakes police officer was flagged down by some people at Zorbaz, who told him a gray-silver Nissan Altima had crashed into another vehicle and took off without stopping.
The driver of the other vehicle said she had been westbound on West Lake Drive when the Nissan went through the stop sign at Summit and struck her vehicle.
"We had a good Samaritan who attempted to keep the vehicle in sight," said Todd. "They were on the phone with dispatch providing location updates."
Officers were advised that the Nissan was speeding eastbound on Highway 10. A Frazee police officer picked up the chase on Highway 10 near Frazee. The officer noted extensive front end damage to the Nissan, and also that the car’s airbag had deployed.
He put his emergency lights and siren on, but the Nissan did not stop, and actually speeded up as it crossed from Becker County to Otter Tail County, fleeing the officer at speeds estimated at 120 to 130 mph, according to the criminal complaint.
On the outskirts of Perham, the driver failed to make a turn and the Nissan smashed into a tree. The driver, allegedly Federick, went out the passenger side and tried to run into a field. He was limping and favoring his right foot, and the Frazee officer ran after him and caught up to him, restraining him after he fell down.
"He was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Perham," said Becker County Sheriff Todd Glander. "He was treated and released into our custody."
Police from Detroit Lakes, Frazee and Perham, as well as sheriff's deputies from Becker and Otter Tail counties and the Minnesota State Patrol, all played an important role in the series of events, which, ultimately, led to the arrest of the suspect, Glander said.
The 2018 Nissan Altima belonged to Federick's girlfriend, who told police that he had called her and calmly told her that “I just hit somebody.”
"Number one, you need to stop and aid the victim," said Glander. "Everybody worked cooperatively to bring this case to a close and nobody else was hurt."
On April 14, Becker County District Judge Michael Fritz set cash bail for Federick at $2,000, or bond at $25,000, with standard conditions of release, or bond at $100,000 with no conditions.
His next court hearing is set for 3 p.m. on May 3.