Running from Justice

An arrest can prove to be an adrenaline-inducing, heart-pounding moment for anyone. “You are under arrest” is a phrase that will elicit a reaction from even the most stoic among us. During an arrest it is important to remain calm. If an officer believes that he has legal justification to arrest a defendant, he is going to arrest that defendant. Nothing the defendant says or does in that moment is likely to help their case. In fact, it is most likely that it will do the exact opposite. As the saying goes, “save it for the judge.” Your version of events will be heard and presented in an appropriate forum. Remember that a police officer is a law enforcement agent; their job is to enforce the law, not deliver justice.


At about 1:30 a.m. on August 11th a Waseca man named Shane Santoro was taken into custody at North Riverfront Drive and Mayfield Street. Santoro was allegedly wanted by Mankato police after he failed to stop his vehicle for an officer executing a routine traffic stop. The officer then pursued Santoro who continued to attempt to flee. Santoro struck another vehicle in a driveway on Tanager Road. After the impact he fled the officer on foot. Officers reported damage to shrubbery, mailboxes, and the two vehicles. Despite getting away from the officer on the evening of the initial contact, officers quickly caught up to the man accused of fleeing. As an officer attempted to approach Santoro, who was driving a different vehicle on Riverfront Drive, he exited the car and fled on foot. Santoro was arrested shortly after. He is being charged with third and fifth-degree sale of a controlled substance, possession of burglary tools, and fleeing police.


Minnesota law does not take lightly to a suspect attempting to flee an officer. The laws are designed to assist officers in making arrests, pursuing justice, and protecting the safety of all involved. Thus, the penalties for violating such laws are steep. Under the law, fleeing an officer is an obstruction of justice and carries a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If the fleeing suspect causes serious harm or property damage that penalty can be raised to up to five years in jail and a fine of $10,000. Fleeing from an officer in a vehicle is a felony. This action will carry a penalty of up to three years in jail and a fine of $5,000; again aggravating factors will increase the penalties. The law provides that if someone is killed the fleeing driver can face up to 40 years in jail and $80,000 in fines.


The lesson here is clear. Regardless of the situation you find yourself in immediately prior to arrest, running from the arrest will not make it better. If you find yourself in this situation schedule a consultation with the attorneys at Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Offices today.

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