Minnesota Capitol locked down after teen driver crashes stolen vehicle nearby

The lockdown at the Capitol complex was lifted after about 15 minutes.

Minnesota Capitol
Minnesota State Capitol.
Forum News Service file photo
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ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Capitol was briefly locked down Wednesday night, May 18, when a 15-year-old driver of a stolen vehicle struck a squad car, and he and the passengers ran, according to St. Paul police.

Three tried to hide in a portable toilet in the area of the crash at University Avenue and Park Street near the Capitol, and the driver ran into a building, said Steve Linders, a police spokesman.

At the time, the House of Representatives floor session was underway. They went into recess, and legislators and staff were asked to remain in the chamber.

Police took the three males into custody who’d gone into the porta-potty — 12, 13 and 15-year-olds, along with the suspected driver, Linders said. The driver was found at a a St. Paul apartment building.

The lockdown at the Capitol complex was lifted after about 15 minutes.


The situation began when an officer saw a vehicle, which had been stolen in St. Paul at about 7:20 p.m. There were teenage passengers hanging out the windows and the teen behind the wheel was driving recklessly, Linders said.

The officer tried to pull the vehicle over, but it sped away and police did not pursue, based on St. Paul police policy. A Minnesota State Patrol helicopter began to track the vehicle from the air. Another vehicle, stolen from Edina, joined the other stolen vehicle. Both drivers headed to Woodbury, still tracked by the helicopter.

Law enforcement put out stop sticks, which one vehicle went over. Three juveniles jumped out of that vehicle and into the one that had been stolen in Edina. They drove back to St. Paul.

Near the Capitol, the driver rammed into the back of a marked St. Paul police squad at about 40 mph, Linders said. The officer did not immediately report being injured.

The male drove into a nearby state of Minnesota parking lot and crashed. The trooper in the helicopter saw where the teens ran, and officers took the four into custody.


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