Ponsford man sentenced for 2021 police chase

The man told the officer that he ran because he had warrants, he had used heroin the night before, and he doesn't like being in jail.

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BECKER COUNTY — Harry Joseph Kettle III, 33, of rural Ponsford, has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.

According to court records, on Nov. 30, 2021, a White Earth police officer was patrolling on Pine Point Road in Becker County when he saw a vehicle traveling northbound with no visible registration. He turned around and activated his emergency lights, and the vehicle sped up and turned westbound onto Nokomis Drive.


The officer pursued the vehicle, driven by Kettle, until it lost control and went into the ditch, traveling about 50 yards before coming to a stop in a swampy area.

Kettle jumped out and took off running on foot, with the officer in pursuit. Kettle tripped and landed on the ground, and the officer drew his taser and told him to put up his hands. Kettle explained to the officer that he was running because he had warrants and does not like being in jail. He also admitted being a drug user, saying he had last used heroin the night before.

On March 21, Becker County District Judge Gretchen Thilmony sentenced Kettle to a year and a day in prison at St. Cloud, stayed three years. He was ordered to serve 64 days in jail, with credit for 64 days served, and was fined $500 plus $650 in court fees. He must get a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the recommendations, including aftercare.

Misdemeanor charges of DWI and fleeing on foot were dropped in a plea agreement.

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